How to Keep Consistent and Current Workplace Policies

Actual Comments on Why Employees Leave:

“They didn’t follow all their policies. They only followed their policies when it was convenient for them.”

The Solution

What is the purpose of workplace policies?

• Reflect an employer’s standards relating to employee activities and employment-related matters.
• Provide guidance and direction on how to consistently handle workplace situations.
• Maintain order within an organization and ensure employers are treated fairly and consistently.
• Help employees understand what is expected of them.

Consistent application and enforcement of workplace policies and procedures is the responsibility of human resources, managers, and supervisors. As policies are created or revised, it is critical that they are communicated to supervisors/managers and employees. A policy that has not been communicated to employees is the same as not having the policy. Also, the consequences of not applying policies inconsistently or not at all can also create problems. Allowing employees to behave in ways that contradict company policy will be viewed as not having that specific policy.

Organizations continually create new policies and they should periodically review existing policies to ensure compliance with applicable federal and state law and that they meet the needs of the organization. A policy that made sense at one time may no longer be relevant or it may need to be updated to reflect new/revised legislation and current business needs. As times change, so will workplace policies. This type of review will help HR departments determine which policies need to be created, which are still relevant, which need to be revised and which should be eliminated. Remember, having a policy that is not current or having an outdated policy that is simply not being utilized can be just as dangerous as a policy that has not been created. The end result is an invitation for a lawsuit.

As in the case of this former employee, another important consequence of inconsistently applying policies is workplace turnover.

(This blog post brought to you by HSD Metrics, an exit interview company that helps companies reduce employee turnover by providing automated reference checking, exit interviews, and by measuring employee retention. The comments from exiting employees that are featured in this blog are collected from actual exit interviews conducted using ExitRight®, HSD’s exit interviewing service. Because we place the privacy of our clients at the top of our priority list; the names of all involved parties are kept completely confidential. Check our blog often for posts like this, to reduce employee turnover within your organization. If you are interested in learning more, contact us today.)