Companies often have a difference between how policies are practiced from location to location or even manager to manager. Policies are often not known, not understood or not followed. This situation can increase risk and decrease employee morale.
Review your policies to identify and address discrepancies between what the policies say and how the policies are followed in practice. Doing this annually will improve consistency in how employees are managed and can help reduce risk and improve morale.
Here are four reasons why you should develop policies that are specific to your company.
- Every company is different. Different types of operations, work environments, and customer needs determine the set of company policies that best fit a company. What is needed or makes sense for one is not necessarily so for another.
- Policies and procedures are important. Policie lay out what the company expects of its employees, and what the employees can expect from the company. When policies are well documented and communicated, managers feel more confident in directing, coordinating and delegating work to their direct reports.
- Management must support the policies. Managers must understand the background of the policies – Why is the policy needed? What is it accomplishing? Managers also must believe that these are good policies that support the company’s operations and work practices.
- Policies should reflect actual practice. The goal is not just to have policies in place, but rather to develop a set of policies and procedures that actually help work flow more smoothly and reduce risk. It is important that a company’s policies and actual practices are reflective of each other.
Here are 6 policy categories that we recommend business owners have in place and review annually:
- Compliance Policies
- Employment Policies
- Compensation Policies
- Employee Benefits Programs & Time Off Policies
- On-The-Job Policies (hours of work, breaks and meal periods, dress code, email and internet use, etc.)
- Termination Policies
Learn more about clarifying and communicating your company policies on page 13 of the Business Owner Guidebook to Building a Better Company.