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Tips for enforcing policy

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In any business there are policies that need to be enforced. These policies can pertain to anything from dating co-workers to drug abuse or even e-mail and internet usage while at work. How is a manager supposed to enforce all these policies? There are so many policies that companies or businesses legally have to obey that it may not always be easy. However, it is a must to enforce any policies in the workplace. Enforcing policies will keep your employees safe and happy. Enforcing policies will also keep you in business and reduce the risk that you are legally sued because of unfair practices. Any manager or business owner could benefit from some tips for enforcing policy.

Because workplace policies are so broad there are many options for enforcing those policies. First you will need to make sure that you have all your workplace policies written down in either an employee handbook or the company's website if you have one. This makes it easier to enforce any problems you may have with employees who do not follow the policies. You will have the full policy written out for everyone to see and should be signed by all employees. When a policy is then not being followed it will be easy for you to enforce it. The policy was written down so that there was no guessing as to what was really meant. You are more able to then document which policy was not being followed and which employee it was.

There are other ways to make sure that your workplace policies are easily seen. These include putting them up around your workplace. Put the policies on bulletin boards or as posters throughout the building. The policies are then in plan view where any one can see them.

You can also hold monthly meetings or classes for your employees to discuss any of the policies. This can be done as one policy per month or a few policies every month. In these meetings or classes you should discuss the policy, how to comply with the policies and what happens if there is a violation of these policies. It should be mandatory for your employees to attend. Your employees should also sign a document stating that they were at the meeting and understand all the policies and the enforcement of them.

To enforce many workplace policies you will need to have proper documentation. This is a must even if the policies are clearly stated in the employee handbook. You as a manager will need to document any violations of the policies. This should be done the minute that you are aware there is a problem. The more documentation you have the better off you will be in enforcing any of the policies. Your documentation should include the date you witnessed the violation and what happened.

You may need to have a meeting with the employee who has violated the policy and a third party as a witness. You will then need to go over all of your documentation of the policy violation with the employee. Reacquaint them with the policy and the ramifications if the policies are not followed. You can give the employee another chance at following all policies at this time. Have them sign the documentation you have provided. Then you and the employee will need to come up with a plan to rectify the policy violations. Write this plan down and have all members at the meeting sign it. If your employee does not care about coming up with a plan you will then have proper documentation to fire the employee if needed.

To enforce policy in the workplace the best thing you can do is let the employees know of all policies. Have the employee sign documents that say they understand all policies and then when a policy is not followed you need to document the problems. Follow through with a meeting with the employee. The best way to enforce policy is to have it well written out.

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Posted by DF
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