When your business expands quickly, it can be hard to stay on top of policy creation and management. Sure, there may be quite a few unwritten rules that employees seem to be aware of and your organization just hasn’t gotten around to putting on paper yet, but those rules tend to cause more confusion than not. Just like the telephone game we played as kids, new rules heard “through the grapevine” are easily not shared correctly, misinterpreted and misunderstood.
Employees need consistent company policies to guide them on their roles and responsibilities, as well as the company’s overarching business principles, ethics and beliefs — for compliance reasons and to ensure a healthy company culture. Written policies and procedures also help protect your company from potential legal action.
Creating written policies may seem like an overwhelming task, especially when you have other HR tasks to manage, but here are a few necessary policies to get you started:
- Privacy – Protect employees, the company and your customers by establishing a policy that encourages transparency and trust with your customers.
- Credit – Determine the terms of opening an account and building good credit with your company. Set an acceptable amount of time for payment, and establish consequences when payment is overdue or not received.
- Confidentiality – Protect sensitive information, and be sure to cover relationships with vendors, customers and other suppliers.
When developing policies, be sure to consult local, state and federal regulations, as well as industry best practices to ensure the policies you create are compliant. Also be sure to give yourself enough leeway and not write definitive, binding statements; otherwise, you can be held liable if your manager does not follow the exact, outlined steps. It’s also important that you properly train employees on policies and ensure employees understand and acknowledge them. That way, there’s less chance of confusion and misunderstanding.
After investing time and resources creating these policies, make sure employees read, understand and apply them to their daily job responsibilities! How? Read the Guide on How to Ensure Employee Accountability & Compliance through Effective Policy Management.