Company policies are important to protect your employees and your company, but creating policies is also an art form that requires critical thinking skills. Trying to shoehorn policies in for every possible scenario will give you a bloated handbook that is largely unenforceable, but avoiding policies on key issues can also land you in hot water. Do you think your company policies need a makeover? Here are a few things to consider.
Once you’ve determined a policy needs to be changed or written, the first step is to communicate the goals. Why is this policy important and why are you implementing it now? The goals should be clear, but also concise. You don’t need to describe every possible outcome to express the goal.
Before writing the policy, it’s a good idea to research other similar policies from other companies or your own. You may not find something that’s an exact match, but you can use it as a starting point, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You can speak with an attorney, subscribe to the Society for Human Resources Management, or check out the Department of Labor website.
When writing the policy, be sure to use language everyone can understand. You’re writing this for employees of all levels, so keep the information understandable and clear. Write it as if you’re communicating directly to the employer. Try to think of the questions someone will have, but don’t overwrite it as you can’t always cover every possible situation. Once you have a draft written, ask trusted employees to read it over and let you know how well they understand.
After you’ve crafted your new policy, make sure you have it reviewed by any professionals who may be able to provide necessary insight. For instance, if you write a policy about bullying in the workplace, have it reviewed by a lawyer to ensure that your policy and the enforcement are compliant with the current state and federal laws.
Writing a policy is only the first step of the process. You need to train your current staff and any incoming employees on the new policy. Add the new information to your regular onboarding process to ensure everyone has the most up to date information. Once everyone is trained, be sure to enforce the new policy consistently across the board based on the information provided to employees.
Do you want to know more about writing better policies and enforcing them?
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