Friction is bound to arise when people, different from each other in several ways, share an office space. Being the one responsible for maintaining harmony and discipline at work, it is essential that you draw up workplace policies dealing with any issues that might arise.
Although there are different types of workplace policies, a start up firm may not need too many to begin with. As it expands, however, framing additional policies will become a pressing need. Let’s take a look at some of the basics. Get the facts about post about US workplace regulations see this.
Work policies: Acknowledging a job well-done once in a while, will not suffice. Clear appraisal guidelines need to be drawn up, stating how soon and how often an employee is to be formally evaluated. Lay out the work hour schedule in accordance with Labor laws. Similarly, clearly list out the holidays (paid or otherwise), your employees are entitled to. “Paying for Time Not Worked: An Approach to Developing a Comprehensive Workplace Policy” available at, could be of help while structuring a payment policy.
Disciplinary issues: Prescribe a code of conduct at work. Specifying a formal dress code will save you the trouble of having to deal with individual cases of impropriety. Again, substance abuse is a strict no-no at the workplace. Although a pleasing sight under different circumstances, at work, love birds may be a nuisance. Dating co-workers who belong to different hierarchies could raise concern among other employees about favoritism. Workplace policies addressing these issues are vital to ensure a comfortable ambiance for everyone.
No to discrimination: Discrimination based on religion, gender, race, sexual orientation or any other form of bias must not be tolerated in the office. Workplace policies to help employees with HIV/AIDS or prevent sexual harassment are among the top priorities of large companies. Labor unions have a long standing history and unless legally prohibited, it will only be wise to let your employees form one as well. However, be sure to make provisions safeguarding against violent activities indulged in the name of labor unions.
Prohibit criminal activities: When employees have access to electronic communication set-ups, it becomes imperative to outline workplace policies that prevent their misuse. Monitoring interaction will be difficult since you need to respect your employees’ personal space as well. Draw up confidentiality agreements to protect sensitive data, belonging to the company or its clients. Take a written commitment from your employees that they will not reveal such information to anyone else.
“Work and the Workplace: A Resource for Innovative Policy and Practice” by Sheila H. Akabas & Paul A. Kurzman, available at could be useful to learn more on the subject. “The Workplace Law Advisor: From Harassment and Discrimination Policies to Hiring and Firing Guidelines–What Every Manager and Employee Needs to Know “, by Anne Covey, also available at, is a must read.
Well thought out workplace policies go a long way in establishing a healthy employee – employer relationship. A clear understanding of their rights and duties will help employees execute their responsibilities better and maintain decorum. Hence, smart workplace policies are essential for creating the perfect ambiance at work.