On a daily basis, your HR team faces a variety of special challenges that are unique to your industry, your business model, the size of your workforce, your workplace culture, and your geographic area. HR teams for pre-schools, law firms, potato chip factories, and oil rigs face issues that aren’t always universal. But there are some basic workplace polices that should play a role in almost every workplace regardless of its unique circumstances.
For example, every company should have a formal, documented “social media” policy that should be written and distributed to employees on the day they’re hired. An effective social media policy will clarify what’s expected and what’s forbidden in terms of the proprietary and work-related information that employees might post on their social media profiles. Social media policies can also cover social media use during company time. Employees (and managers) should never have to wonder what’s allowed and what isn’t, and what the consequences should be for clear violations of these rules. Employees who post company secrets, clients lists, marketing plans or other protected information should know that such behavior is frowned upon (if it is), and managers should know if these violations are grounds for termination or disciplinary action.
Other Workplace Policies that Should Appear on the Books
Social media use isn’t the only murky aspect of the modern workplace that should be clarified formally. Four other necessary polices should address the following topics: Retaliation, data protection, wages, and confidentiality.
For example, wages should be offered and increased each year based on clearly documented and measurable metrics. There are few more disastrous legal hassles than those arising from disparate and unfair wages that appear to run along fault lines reflecting racial or gender bias. Percentage-based salary increases and cost of living increases should occur on a measurable and documented scale, based on indisputable seniority or performance review data.
Retaliation can also be a serious concern, since disciplined or terminated employees can often link the actions of the company to acts of whistleblowing, illegal bias, or personal vendettas. Data protection and confidentiality can clarify the specific use and transfer of data by employees who leave the company, work remotely, or share company information without outside vendors and contractors.
Implementing Policies Quickly and Effectively
If your HR team hasn’t yet drafted and implemented specific policies regulating any of these four areas, now is the time to take action. Start placing pressure on company decision makers and C-level executives to sign off on these policies before a small omission becomes a complex and expensive oversight.
For more on how to create, implement, and enforce new HR policies, contact the DC staffing and management experts at Cordia.