What Is a Workplace Policy
A workplace policy is a written record of the rules, procedures, and principles that must be followed within the workplace premises. They're usually formulated by a high ranking company manager or the company owner itself. The ultimate purpose of a workplace policy is to implement safety and security measures, entice employees to focus during working hours, and maintain the order and prosperity within the workplace premises. A workplace or HR policy is usually embedded in an employee handbook so that employees will have no reason not to be familiar with it.
Policies take many specific names and forms, depending on what kind of rules, procedures, and principles it's implementing. There's the workplace violence policy, the workplace harassment policy, the workplace drug policy, the social media workplace policy, the mobile phone workplace policy, the workplace visitor policy, and many more.
How to Create a Workplace Policy
As a manager, you've probably created countless workplace policies for the companies you've worked in. But as a manager as well, it's expected that you understand the value of going back to the basics every now and then. So without further ado, here are a few basic tips in creating a simple workplace policy.
1. Have a Legitimate Reason
A workplace policy, especially one that's completely new, can have a tremendous impact on the morale of your employees. So make sure to have a legitimate reason for implementing a new workplace policy. The reasons you must have should benefit your entire company, especially regarding safety plans and the improvement of the entire operation.
2. Give Advance Notice to Your Employees
Your employees have the right to know of an upcoming sample policy you're about to implement so that they won't be overwhelmed by the sudden changes. This is most important if you implement policy changes that may impact their daily routines in the workplace. Henceforth, grant them the luxury of preparing for these policy changes.
3. Explain the Purpose of the Policy
The reason why you must explain the purpose of the policy is to make them understand why it should be implemented. Your employees may not like the sound of a new policy, but counteract it by explaining to them the positive impacts it'll provide for the entire company, especially on their welfare and overall work satisfaction. A satisfaction survey will help you determine the staff consensus and opinions.
4. Embed Flexibility On the Policy
Some of your employees may not have the capability or power to comply with some new rules set by your policy. Consider making an exception if they can't comply, as long as their reasons are valid. For instance, you may have implemented a no mobile phone policy within the workplace, but one of your employees needs his/her mobile phone all the time in case his/her sickly child calls from school, so you grant him/her an exception from the rule due to a valid reason. It's also important to gather data through employee surveys to evaluate workplace strengths and weaknesses.
5. Give Your Employees Time to Adapt
At first, some of your employees will certainly have a hard time adapting to the new policy, some may not be able to comply. Don't sanction them yet, be considerate for the time being. Give them at least a week to immerse themselves with the new rule.