By: John McKinney, HR Outfitter
Outfitters often deal with staff issues in the workplace and have to identify the best way to handle these situations. Policies establish expectations and provide guidance on how to handle staff issues and provide instruction regarding what is deemed unacceptable behavior. Written policies help set expectations, maintain order, and ensure that staff are treated equally. The four steps needed to create and implement a new policy are listed below.
Step 1: Identify the Reason for a Policy
Outfitters do not need to establish policies for every unforeseen situation as this will limit the ability to address the staff members needs or unique situations. Policies should provide expectations and guidelines to ensure fair and consistent practices and legal compliance.
Step 2: Draft the Policy
Policies are written guidelines that explain generally what the outfitter's expectations are and how staff will be treated. As outfitters create new policies, they should try to avoid language that sets rigid rules that must be followed exactly as outlined in all scenarios. Flexibility should be developed into the policy.
Outfitters should create guidelines according to business needs; however, the policies must comply with local, state, and federal employment law. This can be complicated for outfitters that operate across a large regional area. It is recommended that all outfitter policies should be reviewed by experienced legal counsel or Human Resources professional before it is finalized.
Step 3: Gain Manager Support
When the policy is drafted, it is important to communicate with managers and supervisors who will be expected to uphold the policy. This communication should include why the new policy (or revision) is needed, address the impact the policy will have on their areas of operation and allow the managers and leaders to provide feedback. Feedback from these individuals may lead to policy revisions, if revisions are made then they should be reviewed by experienced legal counsel or Human Resources professional before it is finalized and communicated to staff members.
Step 4: Communicate with Staff Members
Outfitters should provide staff with general background information as to why the new policy is being created and implemented in the organizations. Companies can identify the best way to introduce the new policy to staff based on the best way it will be understood. Outfitters typically introduce these new policies during staff training; however it may also make sense to send out an electronic message as well. If using e-mail or a company newsletter, these communications should be different from other routine communication so it is not overlooked.
It is important to provide a communication method that will give staff an opportunity to ask questions about the new policy. The policy should also incorporate an acknowledgment statement indicating the staff member received the information of the new policy. There should be a recorded signature and date from each member of staff that they received the updated policy. The policy should also be added to the organization's employee handbook, training, and new-hire onboarding systems as appropriate.
About the Author:
HR Outfitter is a Human Resources Consulting and Staffing company that specializes in the outdoor adventure industry. If you need assistance with creating a policy, procedure, or employee handbook visit us at www.hroutfitter.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org