What are workplace policies and why do I need them?
If you’re wondering whether you need clearly defined workplace policies in your business, the answer is a definite ‘yes’.
Workplace policies are written statements that help to establish a clear understanding of the behaviour and performance standards expected of employers and employees.
Well-written and clearly communicated workplace policies help to:
- set clear expectations around employee behaviour and what is acceptable and unacceptable in the workplace
- safeguard an organisation from risk and help with legal compliance
- clarify employee rights and expectations
- establish best practice and support consistent decision making when dealing with workplace situations
- efficiently and consistently communicate important information to employees
- express an organisation’s values
- establish a safe, respectful, positive and productive culture and work environment.
Policies and Procedures – what’s the difference?
Workplace procedures are step-by-step instructions for routine tasks. Procedures are often linked to a workplace policy and are designed to help employees implement policies.
For policies to be effective they should:
- be accessible to all employees
- be written in clear, concise language
- be communicated, regularly promoted and include consultation with employees
- be supported by training to ensure awareness and understanding
- regularly reviewed
- reflect the values and business environment
It's also good practice to get your employees to confirm in writing that they:
- have read and understood your workplace policies and procedures
- will comply with the policies and procedures.
What policies might I need and what can we help you with?
There are a range of policies available, but in our view, the core HR policies that every business should have include:
- code of conduct
- bullying and harassment policy
- sexual harassment policy
- equal employment opportunity and anti-discrimination policy
- leave policy
- workplace, health and safety policy
- grievance policy
Some of these policies may be included under a broader topic, for example, your business could cover parental leave under a leave policy. Or alternatively, you can implement standalone policies:
- parental leave policy
- domestic and family violence leave policy
- recruitment policy
- internet, email and social media policy
- uniform and dress code policy
- working from home policy
- flexible work policy
- drug and alcohol policy
- disciplinary and termination policy
- performance counselling policy
- performance appraisal policy