Every business in Australia – no matter which industry it operates in – should have well-documented and comprehensive workplace policies and procedures.
A workplace policy is a set of rules and principles that aims to guide managers and workers in how to behave in the workplace. You can have them in place for numerous different issues – bullying, harassment, internet use, health and safety, and social media are just a few.
Having well-developed policies and procedures can provide the following benefits to your workplace:
- They help employees know what is expected of them with respect to standards of behaviour and performance.
- They set rules and guidelines for decision-making in routine situations so that employees and managers do not need to continually ask senior managers what to do.
- They help you to adopt a consistent and clear response across the company to continually refer to situations involving employee interaction.
- They allow you to demonstrate good faith that employees will be treated fairly and equally.
- They allow you to have an accepted method of dealing with complaints and misunderstandings in place to help avoid favouritism.
- They set a framework for delegation of decision-making.
- They give you a means of communicating information to new employees.
- They offer you protection from breaches of employment legislation, such as equal opportunity laws
But remember: having workplace policies and procedures in place is only valuable if you make sure they are properly implemented and monitored.
Because this is a difficult thing to get right, we’ve dedicated a whole chapter to the subject in the Employment Law Practical Handbook – Workplace Policies and Procedures.
It clearly summarises all the legal implications involved with policies and procedures and shows you how you can develop and implement them in your workplace effectively.