Published February 2023
No matter the industry, every organisation needs policies to operate effectively and successfully. We have put together this quick guide to navigating policies in order to ensure your business is running successfully.
WHAT ARE POLICIES?
Company policies are written documents that establish expectations and provide guidance on how to handle workplace situation consistently and fairly. As they also provide direction regarding what is appropriate and what is not across a range of topics, they are key to the successful management of your team.
Together, when implemented properly, they guide your organisation and reduce the risk of liability. In addition, they promote consistency across the organisation for both employees and customers.
This consistency builds a healthy reputation for your organisation, especially regarding employee touchpoints and with customers.
WHY ARE THEY IMPORTANT?
Without adequate and well-developed policies, there are essentially no rules. And unfortunately, without defined rules, this allows people to create their own.
Policies provide employees a well-rounded view of the workplace, allowing them to know the culture that the organisation is striving for, the acceptable behaviours, and how to achieve them.
Workplace policies can be seen as long and voluminous however, in practice, a well-drafted set of workplace policies can play an essential role in protecting the employer’s interests while creating a positive workplace culture for everyone.
Policies can also:
- Increase compliance with internal and external requirements;
- Improve internal processes;
- Help you navigate incidents and crises;
- Let employees know where they can turn for help; and
- Enable consistent processes & structures.
WHICH POLICIES SHOULD YOU HAVE?
For most businesses, Edwards HR suggests the following key policies as a starting point:
- Bullying, Harassment & Discrimination Policy
- Code of Conduct
- Drug & Alcohol Policy (and associated procedure)
- IT Policy
- Leave Policy
- Mobile Phone Use Policy
- Social Media Policy
- Uniforms & Dress Standards Policy
- Vehicle Use Policy (covering company vehicles and personal vehicles used for work purposes)
- Working from Home Policy
There are many other policies that may also be essential depending on the size and nature of your business, and the industry you operate in.
HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF POLICIES – OUR RECOMMENDATIONS
- It is important to view policies as vital components for how your business operates and not just a compliance requirement as they are essential to the success of a business.
- Ensure that every new employee is given a set of the organisations policies with their new starter documents and cover your policies and their requirements during the induction process.
- Don’t just “set & forget” (once your policies have been written) but rather, continuously review and make any necessary changes at least every 2 years to ensure they are all up to date.
- Following point 3, ensure your employees are also re-trained in all company procedures every 1-2 years – this is crucial if you need to rely on this training for any reason in future. It’s easiest to do one or two at a time during a team or toolbox meeting.
- If you are introducing new policies, be sure to seek feedback from your employees before you roll them out.
- Company policies should work alongside your employment agreement – to find out more, read our Quick Guide to Employment Agreements here.
WHO CAN PREPARE MY POLICIES?
Speak with the team at Edwards HR about reviewing and updating your current policies or preparing new ones. We are the leaders in HR for heavy industry for good reason – we just get it – so we’ll ensure your policies cover everything you need so your team know what’s expected and your businesses interests are protected.
For more guidance about this update, or to find out how Edwards HR can support your business, contact our team today on 07 3568 0866.
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