Every company has its own way of doing things. But in an increasingly fast paced – and even litigious – business world they can’t do whatever they want. Defining clear policies is a must, even for a smaller business. However, that can be easier said than done. Which is where our expert team of business policy experts that make up our policy consultancy come in.
Without defined business policies, companies and company leaders frequently have employees make decisions that don’t align with what the leadership genuinely wants to happen. Managers may overstep the mark of what is legally or morally correct and clients and customers may not be dealt with in the way that they should be in order to live up to a business’ brand reputation, mission and/or vision.
Written company policy plans that are clear, simple, and comprehensive aid any organization in maintaining consistency in its operations and free up management from having to micromanage. The way a firm provides goods or services to customers is standardized when business policies are developed and implemented.
Every business is different, something that our policy consultancy team keeps in mind at all times when working with clients. But there are some important elements that any good business policy should contain.
A business policy is a collection of guidelines established by the company’s owner or management. While some policies are developed by business leadership to ensure that things are done to specific standards, others are specified by laws, such as privacy or discrimination laws.
The staff handbook or the operations manual are typically where you can find business policies. Despite the fact that different businesses may have unique rules, all business policies share the same seven characteristics: a corporate policy needs to be precise, unambiguous, consistent, appropriate, straightforward, inclusive, and sustainable.
A business policy can and should be adaptable to changes in the industry, the market, or the business’s operating conditions. Business executives can maintain a consistent organizational structure in the company by using these elements as a guide when developing any business policies.
The biggest question you probably have is what makes business policy so important that I would even consider hiring a policy consultancy? What would the ROI be on that kind of expenditure?The fact is that no matter what industry or niche your business operates in, or its size, business policies matter and have an impact on a variety of factors, including employee satisfaction, legal responsibilities, and a company’s public image.
Solid business policies ensure that everyone is in agreement with what is expected of them. A firm may have policies that apply to many facets of the business. There could be anti-discrimination, safety, and human resources hiring policies. The dress code, lunchtimes, paid holidays, and even the lunch breaks of employees may also be covered by policies. Greeting customers, managing phone calls, and specifics of product delivery are among the other policies that are pertinent to the customer experience.
These policies collectively foster a productive workplace. Workers who feel protected from harm or harassment at work are happier and more effective. Every business owner needs to take into account this crucial factor of productivity.
Employees are protected against bias when they are given clear instructions on dress code, scheduling, and time off requests. Good, clear business policies can also establish the framework for teamwork and the tone of the office environment. Working as a team, or at the very least taking into account other team members, is required even for scheduling.
For consistent operations and the ability to fix possible issues, policies on operations and the customer experience are crucial tools. Managers can focus on that part of the process to produce higher returns if the policy is to follow up after a product is delivered, but that doesn’t happen.
Expectations are established when policies are spelled out in a written plan. As a result, a corporate culture of what to do, what not to do, and how to act is beginning to emerge. Employees in organizations with clearly established policies are better able to accomplish their jobs and tend to deviate from the “script” less frequently than employees in organizations without such policies.
Of course, policies are useless if management does not carry them out. Some regulations—like those pertaining to safety and discrimination—have legal repercussions and have a direct impact on output and consumer satisfaction.
This will look very different for each business. For instance, Google has a corporate culture that is very employee-driven, allowing parents to adjust schedules around child care hours, allowing dog owners to bring Fido to work, and allowing employees to spend some of their time working on personal projects instead of just the tasks that were assigned to them.
The organization has laid out a lot of flexibility but with very specific business policies and guidelines so that staff are aware of the limits. Because of this approach, Google has developed into a very desirable place to work and a technological leader on a global scale.
Now we are not suggesting that you suddenly let all of your employees bring their pets to work. But a review of how your business policies could be adjusted to improve employee satisfaction may be very beneficial.
Working with our policy consultancy experts on something like this may help you not only attract better talent but retain them too, something that is proving hugely beneficial to businesses right now.
Having good business policies is one thing. Ensuring that everyone sees, reads and understands them can be quite another.
This can be achieved in a number of different ways. Managers should receive business policy training from company leaders. An employee handbook covering all policies in one place should be provided to each employee. Updates to the manual should be published in writing as amendments. If the employee handbook becomes out of date, it should be updated to include any recently adopted modifications.
In order for employees to access the handbook in case they have a question, employers should also ensure it’s accessible via the cloud or online portals. That way no employee can claim ignorance, because it is all available online.
But even this is insufficient. Employers ought to conduct training sessions to go through important rules. For example, our policy consultancy has helped a number of businesses offer inclusion training to employees to help them understand the kinds of language and behaviors that could be construed as harassment or discrimination. Don’t presume that workers are aware of right from wrong. Teach them to comprehend it. This aids in avoiding legal issues for both the company and the employee.
When it comes to operations, the same is true. Review the script with your staff and role-play if you need them to adhere to a strict script when speaking on the phone. The same is true of interpersonal interactions. Review more than simply the sales processes. Review potential customer service difficulties so that staff members are better prepared to handle issues that may arise throughout the day. Less of a problem gets passed up the chain of command to leadership the better a staff member is at handling client issues. That enables corporate executives to concentrate on growth and development plans.
Any corporate policy should be followed consistently. You cannot pick and choose when to put a policy into effect. As a result, employees become confused and hostile since they never know which personality of the boss will be present.
You must hold employees responsible for violations if a business policy is enacted and handled consistently. Management should follow a procedure or protocol that is appropriate for the action.
For instance, the procedure for a violation might be a verbal warning followed by a write-up in the employee’s file. Additional disciplinary measures, such as probation or possibly suspension, would be taken in the event of repeated offenses. But all of this needs to be in writing, needs to be clear and consistent and needs to be implemented consistently and fairly.
The rules and implementation strategies you decide to use as a business leader will have a direct impact on how well your staff perform. While some business executives like to establish unique processes at each stage of the organization’s operational process, others prefer to have everything in a strict framework. A business owner must make this choice, but our policy consultancy can help guide those choices.
Remember that certain policies and procedures are created to avoid legal difficulties, while others are created to enhance the brand, experience, and culture of the organization. You need to understand how what you would like to include in your business policies will actually translate in real life.
The simple fact is that many of the things employers once did are no longer legal, or, even if they are, may be considered so unfair by employees that the business becomes a place where the top talent you need to succeed won’t want to work, even if the financial compensation is great.
As your business policy consultancy. Pearl Lemon Consultants can help and advise you on every aspect of the creation, implementation, distribution and maintenance of effective policies that WORK. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.
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