By definition, company policies refer to the guidelines that define an organization’s culture and help it be compliant with law and regulations. They also clarify the expected output and behavior of employees, board members, volunteers, and others in the context of that particular company.
Creating good policies can take months of research and writing. Despite that, it offers great advantages to an organization, like making such employees get their ethical and legal entitlements. If your management is planning to create a new policy for your company, you have to remember that it must always entail a safe and legal workplace. Tricky, right?
To help you develop a well-thought policy that protects your company from legal issues and builds clear expectations for your people, follow the steps below.
Assess the need for policy
First things first. If you’re thinking of creating a new policy just for the sake of it, think twice. These policies must be made to establish an impartial and fair work environment for employees. Basically, these rules are essential to provide a workplace that is fair, friendly, empowering, safe, and organized. They should not be created for every failure or expectation to meet those expectations.
A new policy is needed to clarify behavioral expectations regarding dress code, cellphone use, and Internet use or define workplace guidelines concerning safety rules, disciplinary steps, and worker breaks. You should also create one to maintain a fair work environment when it comes to jury duty, paid time off like sick days and vacation and benefits. These are just a few examples of goals in creating policies. Be sure to prioritize those that deal with legal requirements.
Perform the research
You don’t really need to start with anything. You can research similar policies from other organizations or use guidelines of handouts and bulletins from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). You can use these to draft and back up your new policies. Check HR guides, magazines, and whitepapers as references for concise language.
This is where you’ll also need support and advice from your attorney or law professionals. The proposal should include the problem you’re trying to solve, the successful outcome, and the plans for rollout. For instance, if you’re a trucking business, you’ll absolutely need to write policies regarding your drivers’ breaks, compensation, and protection during unfortunate incidents. For this, it’s best to seek a reputable truck driver lawyer for advice and further assistance. ;
Draft the policy
In making your first draft, some important sections to include are the purpose statement, policy explanation, implementation details, date of effectivity, and glossary. You’d want to utilize flexible terminology when writing your company policy. You can use words such as typically, may, usually, and generally so the management can have the discretion to decide on a case-by-case basis. In order words, you should address the basics through “what if” questions.
Moreover, it’s best to keep your statements concise and your concepts easy to understand. People in the management and, most importantly, the workers should understand everything in the policies. You’d also want to have an expert review and proofread the policies for you. Doing this will help you spot mistakes and make the necessary revisions. It’s also better to have your legal team look at it one last time before submitting it for management approval.
Get the approval
The approval must come from an executive member of the company. It can be someone holding a high position in the department that would be affected the most by the new policies. A sign from the management is necessary before the new policies can be fully implemented. Again, if the policies concern legal issues or concepts, a lawyer must review appropriate language and potential legal implications.
As for the rollout, the finalized policies should be communicated with the employees. You can do so by holding an open forum, sending out company-wide emails, or having the managers announce it. Also, be sure to properly address questions from employees who might need further clarifications or details. Once the employees agree with the new policies, you should also take the time to train them, if necessary. Regularly review the policies to ensure effective compliance.
Company policies are defined as the legal, internal, or regulatory standards for the required activities and behavior in your organization. That said, you must correctly create them, as suggested above. Doing so will allow you to successfully implement a well-crafted policy that will help your organization be efficient and compliant. This way, you won’t have to worry about going against any law or regulation.