Policies are meant to described or defined a companies’ standards and expected behaviours including work expectations.
Policies gives employers the power to implement and state what they feel their company values are and how employees should behave.
It sets the tone for creating the right attitudes, behaviours, decision making, values and ethics.
So why is it that so many companies leave it too late when in fact policies are one of the first things employers should have in place before hiring employees.
This, together with proper on-boarding to educate new employees about the companies purpose, values and expected conduct should be the first thing new hires must be made aware of on their first day or week of induction.
Policies are different say, in a bank or accounting firm, compared to an IT company or creative company. Every company has its own standards and expectations of what they think are acceptable behaviours. Policies must be very SPECIFIC! Spell out what actions are acceptable and what actions are not acceptable.
With many startups and SME businesses, business owners are usually focus on getting their services or products out to potential clients. Its’ only when things go wrong that they start looking at hiring a HR consultant or HR advisor which, by that time it’s too late and the damage is done!
Yes, you can obtain policies from the Fairwork, but they are generic and does not represent what your company values or standard of behaviours are.
When an employee does something which results in a dismissal and the employee takes the employer to Fairwork, the first question the Court will ask is whether the employee was aware he or she was not suppose to do what they did! That’s where policies are a great advantage!
Google has recently included into their policies that employees are not allowed to have disruptive conversations or political debate in the office. Why? Because this does not encourage collaboration. As far as Google is concerned, employees are here to perform their duties and responsibilities and not have disruptive conversation with each other.
Conclusion - Don’t dismiss the value of policies. Without policies, it can and will cost your company a lot of wasted time and money. So, get it RIGHT at the start and make sure you have at least the minimum mandatory policies in place so you are covered!
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