Tips for setting inner-office policies and enforcing them
One thing that every manager or business owner knows is that in order for your employee to follow the rules they have to know what those rules are. And this applies to every work industry, whether you are working in an office or if you are working off site. But for some people just the thought of having to put together a handbook on what is acceptable and what is not at your workplace can seem overwhelming. So in those cases what most people do is simply rely on word of mouth and hope their employees figure out the rules or they hire somebody else to do it for them. The truth of the matter is that creating an employee handbook or creating inner-office polices does not have to be that difficult if you follow a few simple tips.
Here are some tips for setting inner-office policies and enforcing those policies.
When it comes to creating your inner-office policies you want to keep in mind that there are certain topics that you are going to need to cover. For the most part these topics are pretty general and apply to every business. But on the other hand you are going to want to make sure that you include other topics that are specific to your place of business. Here are some of the more common topics that should be covered when creating your inner-office policies:
- Philosophy on courtesy, which is your company's mission statement
- Payroll, personnel and administration
- Leaves and approved absences
- Business operations
- Conflicts of interest
- Discipline and termination
- Rules of conduct
- Problem resolution procedure
- Drug testing policy
When you are filling in these sections on inner-office policies you want to make sure that you include some of the specific situations that can arise that will require you as a manager to take action. Basically you want to give specific examples on what is not acceptable behavior or dress, etc. A great example of this would "Rules of Conduct":
- Unacceptable quantity of work
- Unacceptable quality of work
- Discourtesy or offensive conduct towards others
- Violation of any other company rules, procedures and policies
- Falsification of company records
- Immoral, indecent or outrageous behavior, including off-premises conduct which can be highly offensive to customers or co-workers
When you are creating these inner-office policies you want to keep in mind that you include what is going to happen if the employees do not follow these policies. Basically you are going to write down what disciplinary actions you are going to be taking for each offense. An example of this would be on the first offense they are going to get a written warning, on the second offense they are going to get an official write up, etc.
Once you have made everything clear in your inner-office polices handbook you are going to want to make sure that you enforce these policies. Basically what this means is that you are going to need to follow through with your disciplinary actions if people violate the policies. The best way to do this is to make sure that you document everything in the employees file, even if it is a verbal warning.
Something else that you want to do is to make sure that you update the policies on a regular basis. The reason for this is that if the book isn't updated regularly then there is no way that you can enforce it because the rules and guidelines are most likely going to be out of date.
You are also going to want to make sure that you distribute the book so that all of your employees can read it. The reason for this is that you cannot expect people to follow the rules if they don't know what those rules are, nor can you enforce the company rules if people don't know what they are.