How many of your staff have read your workplace policies? How many fully understand them? Your employees may not be aware that the policies even exist or where to find them. Foster a better company culture and keep everyone in the loop by thoroughly documenting your workplace policies and procedures and making them more accessible to staff.
What Are Some Examples of Common Workplace Policies?
Most large businesses will have a health and safety policy outlining safe practices in the workplace, an IT policy explaining what people can do to keep their online information secure, and a code of conduct outlining how people should behave at work.
Other common policies include:
· Recruitment policy
· Drug and alcohol policy
· Anti-discrimination policy
· Conflicts of interest policy
· Employee benefits policy
Why Should You Document Workplace Policies and Procedures?
1. Clear Communication
Workplace policies exist to clearly communicate to staff what’s expected from them in the workplace. The contents of the policies are written to keep staff safe, protect the company’s reputation, and help foster a positive company culture.
2. Get Everyone On the Same Page
When your requirements have been documented, read, understood, and agreed to by each employee, everyone should be on the same page. It is then reasonable for you to expect your staff to act in accordance with the policies. As each person has confirmed they will follow the guidelines, they are more likely to do so.
3. Showcase Your Commitment
Demonstrate your commitment to treating your workers fairly. Policies are not just about how your staff will act but also how your leaders and business owners will treat employees. Commit to behaving ethically towards everyone in all tiers of your organisation.
4. Create a Framework
Having a framework for decision making makes things much easier when you need to make tough decisions. Workplace policies can provide frameworks for recruitment decisions, how to deal with wrongdoing, what to do in case of a conflict of interest, and more.
5. Onboard New Staff
New staff often get taught how to do things by asking their neighbour or eventually figuring out things on their own. With all of your workplace policies documented and easily accessible, you can train new employees the same way every single time to create a shared understanding across your entire organisation.
How To Document Workplace Policies
The real challenges that companies face with workplace policies and procedures are:
a) documenting them
b) making them accessible
Documenting Workplace Policies
Much of what is expected in an organisation is only known through unwritten rules. These can be tough to understand and follow, especially for newcomers.
Taking the time to sit down and map out all rules, both written and unwritten, is an excellent starting point for documenting your workplace policies.
Start by asking yourself these questions:
Are there any issues has the company had in the past, and how can we prevent these from reoccurring?
What do we want all employees to know?
Which types of policies do others in our industry have?
Are there any specific laws that apply to our company?
What does our ideal workplace culture look like?
What is our commitment as employers to our team?
And ask any relevant unions for advice if you need to.
Then you can begin to organise your answers into categories and start shaping these into policies.
Making Workplace Policies Accessible
Most often, the outcome of documenting workplace policies is a PDF document hosted on a shared drive somewhere, to be uploaded and promptly forgotten about. That’s precisely why so many new staff never see or even hear about company policies.
So how can you make workplace policies more accessible?
Instead of putting your policies in the digital equivalent of a filing cabinet to be forgotten, propel your organisation into the future with fun and effective policy courses. At the end, you can ask your staff to agree to each policy so that you have an acknowledgement that you are all on the same page.
Want to know more? Get in touch with us today - we'd love to have a chat about how we can make your policies more user-friendly.