Setting out clear and consistent guidelines for your employees helps define a standard way of working, reduces ambiguity for your people when it comes to executing company practices or procedures and sets expectations for how they should conduct themselves in your workplace.
Your company’s policies are a part of your workplace culture. They can cover a wide variety of aspects of the business but there are a few core policies that every business should have at a minimum to help protect both their workplace culture and their people.
Some policies are required as part of NZ employment legislation – others just make good sense to have in place. Key to the success of implementing policies is educating leaders and staff about them and ensuring they know what part they play in upholding them.
A well-written policy will always start with outlining its purpose – why it is in place. It will use simple language that everyone can understand and concisely define what you expect to see demonstrated in your employees’ behaviour and what the consequences are when there’s bad behaviour. A good policy provides a detailed structure to follow so that when an employee strays from that structure – the consequences have already been defined and are known to everyone.
Here are three standard policies, we’d recommend a business to have in place:
Code Of Conduct:
A code of conduct policy sets out the company’s vision and values, guiding principles and internal rules and sets the tone for how you want those in your workplace to behave. It serves as a framework for making everyday ethical business decisions and as a communication tool for employees and stakeholders about what a company truly values.
A code of conduct provides everyone with the definitive guide to how they should work and act while performing their role to ensure their safety and a level of consistency in the way they operate.
Health And Safety Policy:
Every business must ensure the health and safety of its employees and anyone else who could be put at risk by the work undertaken by the company, such as customers, suppliers, and visitors.
Your Health and Safety Policy outlines your company’s attitude and intentions to proving a safe workplace environment, as well as providing direction on methods that safeguard the health and safety of every employee, your clients, visitors, and anybody else who may be working with the organisation.
The health and safety policy makes employees aware of their responsibilities in the event of a health or safety issue. It explains who is accountable for doing what, when, and why – and also how to avoid accidents, hazards or mishaps in the workplace environment to keep everyone safe and well.
Workplace bullying is included as a workplace hazard in the current Health and Safety Act. Employers are now accountable for encouraging a workplace culture that promotes a safe working environment for everyone operating in their workplace.
At work, everyone comes together from different backgrounds, with different experiences, and beliefs. Many workplaces can be very diverse and employees may have very different views about what they deem is acceptable behaviour and how to conduct themselves at work.
The Anti-Bullying Policy primarily reinforces the message that all employees should treat one another with courtesy and respect. It provides the guidelines to inform employees what is (and isn’t) appropriate behaviour at work,
A good Anti-Bullying Policy details what bullying is and what bullying behaviours look like. It should spell out what behaviours your company does not accept and communicate clear procedures for raising a complaint. It should also outline what will happen if a complaint is found to have merit, as well as what will happen if the complaint is groundless.
If you haven’t reviewed your workplace policies in a while, the team at Hello Monday can help. Firstly, by identifying what policies are important for your business to have in place then secondly, by creating a library of simple (and easy to follow) policies and guidelines that will best support your workplace activities.
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