Companies evolve over time and so do their policies. New policies are written to prevent certain issues from reoccurring, fend off potential problems, and maintain organizational order and efficiency. As your policy manual grows thicker, keeping watch over and holding everyone accountable to compliance with them becomes more of a challenge. You need an effective control mechanism.
Rules are nothing without accountability. And accountability doesn’t work unless everyone – starting with you and your leadership team – is paying attention.
- Managers must stay alert and constantly help employees function within policy guidelines. This involves identifying and coaching through infractions when they occur. Otherwise, breaking rules will become the norm.
Consistency is Key
Mid and upper-level management must consistently enforce policies. Any form of preferential treatment instantly creates an unhealthy double standard.
- It’s okay for employees to earn special privileges through clearly defined qualifiers, but never allow indiscriminate rule violations. This will contaminate your culture and quickly erode morale. If you want everyone working together to do what’s best for the company, then everyone must adhere to and live by the same rules.
- Define the lines that can’t be crossed. While some rules allow wiggle room, others cannot. These are the policies that are the foundation of what every company is built on and pertain to safety, integrity, trust and respect. For certain infractions, termination may be the only option. For others, probation, reassignment or specified skill training may be the best course of action.
Tell employees the reasons behind the rules, keep them continuously updated and reminded about them and when problems do arise, let them be part of the solution.
- Every rule serves a purpose. But if employees don’t understand, they may interpret certain policies as infringements on their freedom. Educate your workforce regarding why policies, especially the less popular ones, were established.
- Distribute policies widely. Put a handbook in every employee’s hands or an email in everyone’s account. Required a signed acknowledgment form indicating receipt and understanding. Post policies regarding fair employment practice and safety in common areas throughout the workplace. Insert reminders and updates in paychecks and orientation and open enrollment packages.
- Let employees collaborate with management to address problems that arise due to policy violations. Shift the solution to those involved.
Build a training program around policy matters. Ensure that everyone in your company understands them and knows how to comply with and apply them in a fair, consistent manner.
- Designate mandatory training regarding equal opportunity employment. This will avoid potential liability. Check with the EEO Commission for guidance.
- Ensure that managers and supervisors understand disciplinary issues and practices. Instruct and remind them to work with HR as needed.
- Explain workplace policies to new hires at orientation. Encourage them to ask questions. Describe the steps to be taken if they witness inconsistent application of policies.
The HR specialists at PrideStaff Fresno can assist as you finalize, communicate and effectively enforce your workplace policies and procedures. Contact our team of experienced team of recruiters today form more information!