How to implement work-policies in any agency/company?
In every organization, to manage work-base behavior of employees, policies are made as a considered set of standard behaviors expected from employees to act upon.
Managers are often confronted with employee relations issues in the workplace and deciding the best approach in handling these issues. Company policies provide direction regarding what is appropriate as well as inappropriate or unacceptable behavior.
Implementation of policies depend on the organizational culture like how managers consider and employees accept the need for a new thing. When the culture is autocratic, policies are forcefully implemented with no objections tolerated. And when employees are empowered, democratic culture is enjoyed and every opinion is valued.
As per a survey conducted by RLTSquare, majority responses – 43% of total respondents – said in this regard that to implement policies, first, tell your team members and employees about the new/change in policies and take them in confidence- as the best practice. As it is important to gain trust of every resource working for you and let them know about the know-how of policies, ask for their feedback and recommendation, make changes accordingly and then implement.
Here are the survey responses:
Click Here to get survey details.
Managers and employees do consider that change in policies is important, but the matter is how these are communicated and\ implemented. As per majority of respondents, it is noted that policies are not to be implemented on strict compliance or team voting as it causes chaos and confusion. 28% of respondents believe that companies should not bound their employees, instead they should be goal-oriented with no procedure to follow.
Team voting for accepting policies is the least considered method. As for voting can create biases in decisions and conflicts within a group or a union.
Documentation and implementation of policies also depend on the company size. With greater numbers of employees/resources in an organization (50+ employees), more concerns about management are raised. So, to keep a proper track of all the employee’s expected behavior, it is important to have policies and procedures. However, when the company size is small (5 – 30 employees), it is not necessary to strictly implement policies as such size is managed with little effort.
Company policies help maintain order within the organization and ensure that employees are treated in well-manners. Policies also help employees understand what is expected of them.
Here is how your company can implement policies in 7 simple steps:
Step 1: Identify the need for a policy
Managers are not to make policies for every unforeseen event as this would restrict management to address any unique situation. Policies should provide clear guidelines and expectations to ensure consistent practices.
As mentioned by SHRM article, employers may want to develop policies:
- If employees’ behavior indicates confusion about the appropriate conduct or how to handle certain situations.
- If legal protection of the organization is necessary.
- If there is a need for government laws and regulations compliance.
- If there is a need to create consistent standards and rules.
- If there is a need to create consistency and fair treatment of employees.
Step 2: Determine policy content
Policies are guidelines that explain generally what are the employer’s expectations, and how employees will be treated. Organizations create new policies, they should be careful to avoid language that conveys rigid rules that must be followed exactly as written. Flexibility should be built into the wording, and promises that could be interpreted as a contract should be eliminated. For example, organizations should not:
- State “only” or “always” do something, or “will” or “must” act in a particular way.
- Describe employees as “permanent.”
- Make promises of job security.
Employers should use terms such as “generally,” “typically,” “usually” and “may” so that managers have flexibility in interpreting and applying the policies based on the circumstances involved and on the severity of any company policy violation.
All policies need to be written in clear language. The policy language itself often varies from employer to employer depending on size, industry and sometimes even location. However, most policies have similar components. The typical components are outlined below:
- Purpose statement
- Specifications section
- Implementation section
- Effective date
Step 3: Communicate with Employees
Managers should give employees details about background information as to why the policy is being implemented. Employees should be given enough details to make the goals clear while keeping the process simple. The best means of distributing the policy (e.g., e-mail, memo, or individual/small group/all-employee company meetings) must also be determined.
Employers should incorporate a communication method that will give employees an opportunity to ask questions about the policy. The policy should consist of an acknowledgment statement indicating the employee’s receipt and understanding of the new policy along with the effective date of the policy.
New/change in policy should also be added to the employee handbook or intranet. Employers should notify employees where they can access the policy later (i.e., links to intranet sites, attachment of policy to print and add to their employee handbook).
Step 4: Train all employees in policies and procedures
Managers are to ensure that new employees are trained according to the new policies, also existing staff receive appropriate training.
Policies and procedures should also be reiterated and discussed with staff regularly at team meetings to ensure that employees remain aware of the importance & advantages of the policies and procedures.
Tip: It is a good idea to have all employees acknowledge after they have read, understood and agreed to comply with new policies. Managers should also keep records of training..
Step 5: Be consistent in your policy implementation
Workplace supervision ensures that the policies and procedures are being properly implemented by all employees is essential.
Managers must ‘lead by example’ in implementation of policies. It is crucial that all expectations are demonstrated through modeling and leadership at all levels of management. If managers condone practices which do not fall within the policy, it could be argued that disciplinary action against an employee who fails to follow the policy is unfair.
Step 6: Review all policies and procedures regularly
When any changes occur, ensure that policies and procedures remain relevant and effective.
The review cycle will depend on the circumstances and document type, but it is a good idea to review policies at least every 2 years. It is also a good practice to ask for feedback from employees and ask for any suggested changes or point out any error in the drive policy.
Step 7: Enforce the workplace policies and procedures
Once policies have been implemented, they need to be enforced. Make sure that you approach this consistently as this is an important factor in being able to discipline a worker for a breach of policy.
The simpler the system, the easier it is for workers to understand and for employers to enforce health and safety policies and procedures.