Policies are the essential building blocks and fundamentals that your company is built on. Your staff will adhere to them as they complete their day to day tasks. Additionally, policies serve the important function of ensuring that your organization remains compliant with standardized and pre-established guidelines. However, there are certain policies that every company should strive to have within their organization. By highlighting these policies and including them in your policy management processes, you can ensure more success in the workplace.
Policy # 1 – Workplace Safety
One of the main policies that need to be included in your organization’s list of policies and procedures is workplace safety. Whether your company is a medical facility or a construction firm that operates heavy machinery, there is some level of risk that is associated with the job duties. For this reason, it is imperative to have workplace safety policies to limit liability and to prevent accidents from occurring in the workplace. Safety standards are already established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the organization’s policies should be in keeping with these safety standards. Effective workplace safety policies help employees to know what to do in the event of an emergency, how to prevent workplace accidents and how to safely carry out their job-related tasks.
Policy # 2 – Workplace Discrimination & Harassment
Creating an inclusive and respectful work environment should be the primary goal of any organization. Regardless of the industry, it is essential to clearly outline expectations and standards for conduct in the workplace. By establishing policies around workplace discrimination and harassment, business owners will be sending a clear message about what type of behavior will or will not be tolerated in the workplace. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines harassment as unwelcome verbal or physical behavior that is based on religion, race, skin color, disability, national origin, gender, or age.
Policy # 3 – Employee Vacation and Time Off
All employees will need to take some time off from work at one time or another. For this reason, it is essential to include a policy that covers time off and paid leave. Establishing clear expectations and standards around taking time off from work will prevent any confusion in the future. However, when establishing policies, it is important to keep in mind that the United States federal government has its own mandates and regulations regarding Holidays, paid time off, and sick leave. In general, employers are the ones to decide exactly how much time off they will offer. Some states will have their own mandates for managing vacation accrual so it is important to reference these when creating policies. All employers must comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act which states that up to 12 weeks of leave must be granted to employees in specific circumstances. These conditions include employees who are welcoming a child, caring for a sick family member, or facing a serious health condition.