6 Must-Have Policies for Every Company

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6 Must-Have Policies for Every Company
28 Apr 2022
5 min read

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Employees' behavior in the workplace is governed by internal company policies. They also spell out what employees can expect from their bosses. The corporate culture, legislative environment, and industry all play a role in determining which policies are necessary for a company.
However, there are a few policies that are a must-have for most businesses!
What are they? Let’s explore the list of company policies that you must consider! #TWN

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Employees and employers both benefit when an organization has clear company policies. Outlining your company's employees' rights and expectations helps set behavioral and performance standards for the workplace and provides employees with an overall framework for how to be successful at your company. Company policies also help to protect your company and contribute to a more secure and enjoyable work environment for everyone.

There are company policies that you may be required to follow by law, but you may also choose to develop your own policies. Tips and best practices are provided below to assist you in deciding which policies to include in your employee handbook.

What are Company Policies?

Company policies are guidelines that assist employers in dealing with employees' health, safety, and accountability, as well as their interactions with customers or clients. Company policies can also serve as a guideline for federal or state regulatory requirements, legal issues, and other situations that can result in serious consequences for employees.

Here is a list of company policies that you should consider:

  • Code of Conduct
  • Policy on Equality
  • Policy on Health and Safety at Work
  • Policy on the Use of Social Media and the Internet
  • Policy on Data Protection
  • Policy on Working Times, Absences, and Holidays

Why are Company Policies Important?

Company policies spell out exactly what you expect of your employees. These could be based on performance, values, or behavior. Besides, policies for a company can serve as forewarnings to employees, as they outline the consequences of failing to follow the rules.

Company policies are also important for several other reasons, such as:

  • Setting expectations
  • Keeping management accountable
  • Ensuring compliance with the law
  • Shield against legal claims
  • Aiding fair treatment of employees

List of Company Policies to Consider

1) Code of Conduct

A code of conduct serves as the foundation for many policies because it defines the fundamental standards of business behavior. Corporate values, corporate property protection, dealing with corruption and conflicts of interest, and employees' personal and professional responsibility are critical components of this document. Furthermore, a code of conduct should explicitly state how employees should act if they observe a violation of the applicable rules, as well as the consequences of misconduct.

2) Policy on Equality

An equality policy serves as the foundation for workplace protection against discrimination and harassment, as well as for promoting diversity. The primary goal must be to ensure that no decisions are made by the employer that discriminates against employees or applicants based on race, ethnic origin, gender, religion, age, disability, or sexual orientation. The implementation of an appropriate policy demonstrates the company's clear commitment and raises awareness among the entire workforce.

3) Policy on Health and Safety at Work

It is in every company's best interest to avoid workplace accidents and promote employee health. This policy should outline the company's responsibilities and duties to ensure workplace safety. The policy should also include any procedures and instructions for work that involves specific risks, as well as how to behave in an emergency.

4) Policy on the Use of Social Media and the Internet

The definition of what constitutes professional and private use of the internet and social media is becoming increasingly ambiguous. All the more reason for every company to implement an employee education policy. This policy should specifically state what employees may and may not share online, as well as which rules apply to the use of the company's own IT infrastructure. The policy should strive to strike a balance between the personal rights of the employee and the interests of the employer.

5) Policy on Data Protection

Data protection has been a hot topic in every company since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect. The legal requirements apply to both employee and customer personal data. Every company should implement a data protection policy to reduce the risk of a data protection violation. It should specifically state how the company uses personal data and what safeguards are in place to protect data.

6) Policy on Working Times, Absences, and Holidays

Companies would be wise to clarify any potential ambiguities regarding working hours, absences, and holidays to avoid potential disputes. This policy, for example, should state the minimum and maximum weekly working time, the rules for taking breaks, how working time can be arranged, and what should be recorded. Overtime and holiday entitlements should also be governed by the applicable labor law.

Bottom Line

Companies should always implement policies based on a risk assessment specific to their business. Furthermore, companies should review whether a new policy is required regularly if and when changes occur within the company or in the legislative environment. Policies must be introduced and communicated carefully within the company.