Most companies don’t start on day one with a complete personnel manual. You may have a couple of policies you got from a colleague or downloaded from the internet that sit on the shelf, unread. Or, like many companies, you may be operating with unwritten rules that “everyone knows.” When disputes arise, however, unwritten rules can appear arbitrary or inconsistent. In court, they will carry little weight to explain your practices. For this reason, it is best to have written policies that you apply to your workforce in a consistent manner. But, creating good policies requires an understanding of local laws and your company culture. This takes time and effort that you could better spend on your core business.
Tailoring policies to your needs and workforce, however, is crucial to ensuring employee buy-in and implementation. Before updating or drafting policies for your company, EmCo will take the time to understand your culture and talk about the best way to move forward. Some companies want simple policies that establish conduct rules. We call these “Thou Shall Not” policies. They are short, easy to understand and follow, and can be quickly implemented. An example would be, “No smoking in the building or in company vehicles.” Other companies want policies that state a rule and provide a detailed discussion of the rule and how it will be implemented. These more detailed policies (for example, discrimination and violence policies) help employees fully understand a rule, how to follow it in specific circumstances, where to report violations, and how investigations will be conducted. These rules often require training to implement, but the policy detail and training will help create a culture where the rule will be respected and followed.
If you are interested in policies, EmCo can provide you with policy examples and help you decide which type of policy fits your company. The following is a list of policies that EmCo recommends for all companies:
- Sexual Harassment/Discrimination/Retaliation
- Americans With Disabilities Act Accommodation
- Workplace Violence
- At-Will Employment Disclaimer
- Sick Leave/Family and Medical Leave Act
- Vacation Accrual
- Attendance, Overtime, and Paid Time Off
- Computer/Electronic Communication/Social Networking
- Mobile Communication and Driving
- Smoking, Drug, and Alcohol Use
- Data Privacy/Confidentiality
Other policies companies might want to consider, depending on the corporate culture, include: dress code and grooming, termination procedures, discipline, performance management, leave of absence polices, use of company equipment, ethics, vehicle use and reimbursement, hiring process and background checks, and holidays.
Please contact us if you want to discuss drafting or updating your policy manual. In addition, EmCo will be your partner in implementing the policies and training your workforce to understand them.