A successful company with several departments and employees needs clear office policies to guide operations. Employees who understand what they are expected to do, and how, are usually the happiest and most productive. They typically display company loyalty and can be counted on in a variety of support roles. This can be true even for those who have nontraditional work setups like those who run a remote business from their home, those who have a virtual office, or any other business arrangement. Conversely, a business with few or unclear policies often leads to dissatisfied employees who are confused about their job duties. To keep your organization running smoothly, here are a few tips for developing effective office policies that your employees will appreciate.
Ensure that Policies are Well Defined
Whether your company utilizes a traditional work setting or a virtual setup for remote activities, your employees need to understand office policies. Having clearly outlined office policies is critical to ensure that everyone knows what is expected, along with consequences for noncompliance. The language used to define the policies should be simple but business-like, avoiding extensive details. All employees, no matter their education level, must be able to comprehend the meaning of each policy so that they can follow it as closely as possible. For example, define vague terms like “good behavior” in terms of meaning low absenteeism or cooperation with employees, etc.
Communicate Policies Clearly to Employees
Clearly-written policies can then be communicated to employees through several means. One is the company website, with an email message reminding employees to read the policies posted there. Another means of sharing the policies with workers is to print a policy manual or post a virtual copy online in a dedicated space. Posting it via a digital or online platform also means that there can’t be any deniability for the employees, even those who aren’t in the office every day or who work remotely. It also means that if you have a virtual office or workspace where you run the business, that your employees will be kept to the same level of accountability that any other employee would. They have access to it as much as anyone else. Training sessions can be held to introduce the policies and allow time for employee questions. Hanging posters with some or all company policies in each department might also assist employees to remember them.
Enforce Policies Fairly and Efficiently
When the office policies have been circulated and are in place, hold employees accountable for following them. If you don’t enforce infractions of the policies, they will lose effectiveness, and soon no one will bother to comply. Applicable policies that are well written, clear, and ready to follow will make employees’ jobs easier, contributing to employee well being and workplace harmony.
Company policies play a vital role in the health of an organization and its workforce. Without policies, a company is like a ship adrift on the sea without steerage or direction. But when meaningful, enforceable policies are formulated and followed, smooth sailing is forecast for everyone aboard. Get your company ship-shape by developing policies that help to inform and guide company employees.