At a recent meeting I was talking with a couple of office managers and the topic of employee policy manuals came up. I asked them if they had them and if so, what types of policies did they have.
Sharing ideas with colleagues is a great way to learn what could work better in your office or possibly what you don’t want to try in your office. One of the managers said that their office manual highlighted all of the important State and Federal laws and then general office policies like paid Holidays, sick leave, benefits, etc.
The other manager said that he really had no idea what was in their office policy manual. They had one, but it was old and was so big that he had never really read through it. In fact, he was pretty sure his employer got the manual from another business person, but never customized it to their workplace. (This is a common practice in small businesses)
I asked him what was the point of having a policy manual if they did not use it? He had no answer, but I could see that he was seriously thinking about this.
I asked how the employees knew if they were doing things correctly and not breaking policies, and what did he do when an employee did break a policy that they never knew existed? He agreed that they really needed to make improvements in this area in order for everyone to have an understanding of the do’s and don’ts in the practice.
Policy manuals do not need to be huge, they need to be simple and relevant to the current business practices. If employees do not know the rules then how can you expect them to adhere to them?
If your workplace does not have an up-to-date employee policy manual, ask for one. An employee manual is for the protection of the employee and the business owner. It is important that all employees know the rule of the business so that they can follow the guidelines set.
Everyone is happier and works better when the know the rules to work by.