Establishing rules for your business
As the business owner, one of the most important things that you will do is to establish rules for your business. When it comes to creating rules for your workplace, you want to be careful with what rules you create. The reason for this is that bad rules can be inefficient; they can also oppress your employees and confine them. If you create good rules for your business, you will avoid any confusion and conflict on your employees' part because they will know exactly what is expected.
The rules that you establish for your business is going to vary based on the type of business you have. No matter what type of business you run there are some general rules that will need to be established just to run a successful business. Here is a look at the general rules that need to be established at every place of business.
You will want to tell your employees upfront about the type of salary that they can expect. The salary expectations will also need to include any raises that the employees can expect. With the raises, you will want to include information on how and when they can receive raises; you should also include anything else that pertains to an employee's salary. Clear ground rules about any benefits that the employee's are eligible to receive also need to be determined. You will want to include who is entitled to them and what benefits are available. Labor laws protect a worker's right to talk to their co-workers about salaries and other job related issues, so the one rule you need to avoid is one that prevents employees from talking about their salaries.
Number two: Work week
You will need to include what your idea of a seven-day work week is, this should be determined by how you plan to calculate overtime This is important because it can affect the hours that your employees work, especially if you have a policy that states overtime must be approved in advance. For example, if your rules only allow employees to work 40 hours in one week they will only be able to work 8 hours a day, which means nine to five and no weekends.
You want to set a rule that requires your employees to get prior approval for using vacation time. For example, if your employees want to take vacation for two weeks in the middle of August, they will need to request that time off two months in advance. Doing this will enable you to approve or deny the request or even grant a partial request so that you can always have enough people on hand to run your business. This is especially important during peak business times.
Number four: Sexual harassment
Sexual harassment rules are not going to pertain to dating co-workers. These rules need to apply to the behavior of your employees. You will want to create rules that prohibit any sexually explicit comments or jokes, the display of any sexually suggestive objects or pictures, and any unwanted physical contact. With sexual harassment, you will want to have more than one person people can go to when making a compliant for a variety of reasons.
Number five: Drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes
If you are going to hire people that smoke, you will want to specify where employees can go to smoke, such as off the property or in a designated smoking area. You will also want to specify when employees can go smoke, such as on breaks or only during lunch. Alcohol is another subject that needs to be addressed because you do not want employees to be drinking during working hours. To address this you need to create rules that prohibit drinking on work premises, unless there is a special occasion, such as a company Christmas party. You will want to have clear rules that prohibit drug use on work premises; you can even include a drug testing policy in your rules for hiring.