Have you reviewed your policies and procedures manual lately? With all the changes impacting employees, employers and the workplace this year, it is important that your workplace policies and procedures are reviewed and kept up to date regularly, which means every 6 months to at least a yearly review. Your workplace policies and procedures are living documents that are supposed to grow, adapt and pivot along with the organization, and it serves a great purpose - to protect you and your business. Old, outdated policies and procedures put your business at risk, you don't want that. Here are some of the reasons you should make sure your policies and procedures are up to date:
1) Regulations and Legislation
First and foremost, its important you're reviewing your workplace policies and procedures to make sure they are compliant with the laws and regulations within your jurisdiction. With all the changes due to the pandemic this year, there have been numerous changes to certain employment standards such as job protected leaves, temporary layoffs and termination notices. If you build them into your workplace manuals right from the get go, you'll ensure your compliant with the new regulations when they come into effect, which will help with a smooth transition in the workplace as well as with your staff.
2) Technology and Best Practices
Keeping your business up to date with technology and industry best practices allows you to improve your services by streamlining the way you do things. This also allows you to provide the best service by staying ahead of competitors and meeting your customers needs. When your technology changes, so should your policies and procedures around how you manage that technology. Defining the type of technology acceptable in the workplace, how it gets used, who uses it or has access to it can help mitigate risks associated with use and can help you ensure you are meeting or exceeding industry best practices. With remote work becoming the norm, you really want to make sure you're ahead of the game by taking advantage of the technology available and reducing risks by implementing the appropriate polices and procedures.
As your business grows, matures and pivots, so will your business goals. Reviewing your manuals to see if your existing policies and procedures are still relevant to your business goals and needs is critical for success. If your organization or business has recently gone through some organizational changes, make sure you've reviewed your manuals to update them as well. If they're no longer relevant or applicable, something has changed in your business strategy and so should your policies and procedures for consistency. Not only will this protect you from future incidents, this will also help your staff have access to current resources so they know whats expected of them in the workplace and can't say the classic "I didn't know" - you'll have something covering your butt!
4) Culture and Values
Nowadays, no one wants to be sitting there, on their first day of work, reading long drawn out, legal jargon filled, "thou shalt not" workplace policies and procedures that most often times make absolutely no sense to the employee (which can actually hold you liable by the way)! What kind of culture are your creating in your workplace? What are your values? You want to make sure that your 'policies', 'procedures', 'manuals', 'handbooks' 'playbooks', 'how to guides', or whatever you want to call them, are aligned with your workplace culture and values. Workplaces have come a long ways from the common 1960's corporate office 9-5 pm gigs to the 'work from anywhere, anytime, wearing anything... well almost anything...maybe just on the Zoom calls. Checking if your policies and procedures are applicable and appropriate for your culture and values will help keep your staff and employees in check and consistent with the culture as well!
5) Incidents and Policy Violations
Finally, when an incident occurs in the workplace that violates the existing policy in place, you should always go back and review the policies and procedures. An incident or policy violation may indicate the need for changes and updates as well. After an incident, it’s a good idea to do a debrief to make sure the policy was in place for the right reasons. Were the policy procedures clearly outlined and followed? Examine the incident to see if employees not only carried out the procedures properly but understood the policy procedures clearly. Could there be training gaps or learning opportunities? Asking yourself these questions upon an incident occurring will help you determine whether you need to revise the policy in question.
Don't have a workplace policy or procedures manual in place yet? You should get on it right away! The team at River City Recruiting & HR are experts with building customized manuals suited for your organizational needs. Don't worry, we're not going to hand you a legal jargon filled thick binder for you to store away in the back of a filing cabinet somewhere. We create these documents to your liking, it can be a fun and creative document, or a quick simple read going over the important stuff - some of our clients even use them as coffee table art books! You'll like what we come up with. Regardless, we want to make sure you and your business are protected and not exposed to risk, so make sure you get your workplace policies and procedures in place today!