The Importance of Written Policies and Procedures

Every business, no matter how small, needs to have written Policies and Procedures.  These deal with everything from customer service, employee management, to overall business goals.

It is also a legal requirement under Health and Safety Standards legislation, if you have five or more employees, to post workplace policies on Health and Safety Representation, Workplace Violence and Harassment  Policies and Programs, and more.

Policies and procedures are like the foundation of a building, providing strength upon which your business will grow, and can aid in resolving both customer complaints and employee discipline issues.

Employees must be treated fairly and consistently. Having written policies in the workplace helps to eliminate the perception of unfair treatment practices.

Effective policies which clearly deal with issues such as a Code of Conduct, Dress Code, Attendance Management, Progressive Discipline, Dishonesty and Theft, Social Media, and Work Performance Standards can save thousands of dollars in unjust or wrongful dismissal costs which may be sought in response to discipline that is later disputed by an employee, and for which there is no policy in place to confirm or justify your company’s position or action.

Make sure your policies are consistent and refer to each other.  For example, any possible discipline for a breach of the Code of Conduct should be outlined in the Code, as well as in the Progressive Discipline Policy.

Use simple, clear language when creating the policies, so that you avoid confusion and “misinterpretation”.

Once your policies are created, arrange a staff meeting to introduce them and give everyone time to review and comment on them.  It is a good idea to have the policies formally take effect four or five days after you introduce them, in order to correct any deficiencies or errors that may be identified by the employees.