How to Set Up Everyday Workplace Policies in your Small Business
Developing policies for everyday tasks can reduce unnecessary administration and make your business more effective. Here’s how…
As a business owner, you may find yourself getting caught up in micro-management of employees, seemingly dealing with the same issues over and over again. You can save yourself a lot of time, stress and effort just by developing a clear policy on some everyday issues people face in their business.
It might seem like a lot of work now, but putting in place procedures on even small aspects of business life can save you time and money in the long run.
This article will provide you with the essential info you need to set up some common workplace policies (excluding employment law). Read on to find out more.
How do I set up new employees?
Taking on a new employee provides you with the best opportunity to coach them in your policies and put the groundwork in place to make them a successful member of your team. To ensure a smooth transition there are a couple of measures which you should put in place.
Start of by providing all new staff with an employment contract. This should be clear and easy to understand. In particular, provide a job description that is specific enough to give the employee a proper understanding of their role, but wide enough that you are not boxed in by the language. Also develop an induction process. This is essential for getting new employees up and running quickly and should cover the culture of the company and what their specific role will be within it. Finally make sure to explain the grievance procedure, which should be in line with the ACAS Code of Conduct and tell the employee the person to go to if they have a complaint.
At the end of the probation period, you should conduct a performance appraisal, to identify how they have developed and areas they need to work on.
How should I develop workplace rules in my business?
The majority of your policies should cover how day-to-day business activity is conducted more generally.
Some key topics to develop rules on include: personal phone calls and mobile usage; personal visitors; email, social media and general internet usage; installing personal software; smoking (smoking breaks, a smoking area etc.) and cars – if you let employees use their own cars for work purposes, you can run into insurance difficulty, so chat to your broker about developing a smart policy to avoid this.
What should my business’ policy be on inappropriate conduct?
In addition to laying out formal disciplinary offences and procedures (which you can read how to do here), you should clarify what you deem to be inappropriate behaviour more generally.
Areas to consider are antisocial behaviour, such as will you be okay with staff swearing in the office or not, and dress code, do frontline staff need to dress more formally for instance (and remember to apply the same standards for men and women – or you could be accused of discrimination).
Another key policy to outline to your employees is an act of gross misconduct in your business. Is there any behaviour that is particularly harmful to your business? Theft, violence, drug use and fraud are nearly always included in this category.