Common Policies Every Business Should Have

When a company has clear policies, it helps set behavioral and performance standards for the workplace, and gives employees an overall framework of how to be successful at the company. Company policies also help to protect your business and contribute to a safe and more enjoyable work environment for everyone.

There are business policies that you may need to comply with according to law, but you may also choose to develop your own policies as well.

Below are some policies to help you decide what policy to add to your employee handbook.

Personnel Policies – Clearly state business hours, code of conduct, terms of employment (hiring and termination), wages or salary (and bonuses, if any), insurance and health benefits, paid vs. unpaid vacation days, sick leave, and retirement.

Equal Opportunity Policies – This policy helps to prevent or reduce to the barest minimum, discrimination within the company. It prevents employers and managers from mistreating other employees based on
their age, culture, ethnicity, gender, religion or other personal attributes. It also helps to promotes fair treatment to all individuals by both managers and colleagues.

Code of Conduct Policies – Having a clear and concise code of conduct can help employees understand company’s expectations in terms of performance, safety, and behavior, and determine what constitutes a violation of company policy, as well as how employees will be disciplined if they violate certain rules. This policy might include specific rules related to substance abuse, sexual harassment, giving gifts, dress code, confidentiality, and even the use of cell phones or social media during work hours.

Safety Policies– Use industry best practices and relevant local, state, and federal laws as guidelines to create rules detailing what safe behavior at work looks like, how to use safety equipment, how to report safety hazards, etc.

Privacy Policies – Protect employees, the company, and your customers by establishing a policy that encourages transparency and trust with your customers.

Payment Policies – Determine the terms for customers and vendors to do business with your company. Set an acceptable amount of time for payment, and establish consequences when payment is overdue or not received.

Confidentiality Policies – Protect sensitive information, and be sure to cover relationships with vendors, customers, and other suppliers.

Employee Performance Policies – Define the role of every employee, including their level of responsibility, amount of authority for decision-making, overarching goals and specific tasks. Identify clear methods for monitoring performance and developing employees through training.

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