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Optimize your HR with a policies and procedures checklist

Communicate responsibilities, avoid conflicts, and improve workplace communication by writing clear policies and procedures

What is a policies and procedures checklist?

Policies and procedures checklists are used to clearly write out your company’s HR policies on a variety of topics, from workplace safety to vacation policies to grievance procedures. Having these things well-defined avoids ambiguity and ensures that everyone is aware of proper conduct.

Write policies and procedures

Table of contents

1. What needs to be included in your policies and procedures?

2. Policies and procedures best practices

2.1. Introduction

2.2. Body

2.3. End

3. Common types of policies and procedures

3.1. Code of conduct

3.2. Workplace safety policies

3.3. Grievance procedures

3.4 Discipline and termination policies

What needs to be included in your policies and procedures?

When writing out your policies and procedures, it is important to remember you’re writing documents for your employees to read. That means stick to clear, concise language and avoid phrasing that could come across as ambiguous, such as using the word “shall” to communicate a mandatory action.

You can improve the clarity of your documents by using shorter sentences, fewer words, and avoiding too much jargon. The goal of any policy or procedure is for your employee to be able to consistently apply it to any situation. With this in mind, each policy you write will include:

  • A policy title
  • A policy description
  • A policy number
  • Policy dates
  • Any important definitions
  • The purpose for the policy
  • A policy statement
  • The policy scope
  • The party responsible for upholding the policy
  • Contact information in case of questions

Your policies describe big-picture goals and standards for employee behavior. You need to write procedures, which describe how those standards will be met. Procedures detail the specifics of tasks associated with a given policy. Providing step-by-step instructions helps employees stay compliant with your policies, and gives you an easy way of measuring compliance.

HR policies being written

Policies and procedures best practices

Introduction

The first part of a policies and procedures template should contain your policy titles, number, date of adoption, and a brief description of the policy. It is important that your policy title is clear and states what the policy addresses, and including a policy number helps file and track the document.

Include the date your policy goes into effect alongside its title. Lend the document a sense of authority by including a signature from the policymaker. Writing a short description of the policy helps give an idea of who it affects and who will be responsible for upholding it, which you will elaborate on later. Before elaborating, make sure to define any specialized terms that will appear elsewhere in the policy.

Body

This will be the longest section of any policies and procedures template. Here is where you go into detail about the conditions which inspired the policy, as well as the expectations placed on employees. Start by writing the policy purpose, so that people understand why the policy is being implemented.

Now come up with a policy statement. Your policy statement will be the longest piece of the document, since it outlines what is expected from whom and when the policy applies. Thus, you want to make it as specific as possible so that questions about when to follow the policy are minimal.

After this, define the policy’s scope, or the people within an organization that it applies to. Usually, those will be the same people responsible for upholding the policy, but not always.

End

The last part of your policies and procedures template should contain step-by-step instructions for how to fulfill the expectations laid out in the policy statement. For example, if the policy relates to office safety and security, the steps could be:

  • Do not let non-employees into the office
  • Close your computer when leaving your desk to prevent unauthorized access
  • Always clean your desk before going home
  • If using an office locker, make sure it is locked before leaving the building
  • If you are the last to leave, make sure to lock the doors are close the windows

Finally, include contact information so employees have a place to direct any questions that may arise about your policies. You might also consider providing documentation for related policies or guidelines so that employees have a policy manual to refer to.

Common types of policies and procedures

Companies draft HR policies to address a range of business and employee needs, from keeping a clean office to data security to managing accidentsin the workplace. These are some of the most important areas to apply concrete policies to.

Policies and procedures being communicated to employees

Code of conduct

A code of conduct is a near-universal document in businesses. It outlines expectations for interactions between employees as well as for employee behavior in relation to the company. Think of a code of conduct as a policy manual for how employees should act at work.

These documents can cover:

  • Company values
  • Company dress codes
  • Discrimination and harassment
  • Employee absences
  • Use of company property
  • Use of social media
  • Interactions with clients

Workplace safety policies

Having a concrete workplace safety policy in place is a necessary means of defining your company’s legal responsibilities regarding employee safety. These documents detail ways in which employees are protected from harm during their work.

A workplace safety policy could address:

  • Safety training
  • Proper equipment maintenance
  • Rules for supervision
  • First aid or medical procedures
  • Risk assessment
  • Incident reporting
  • Avoiding hazards

Grievance procedures

A code of conduct is vital to ensure everyone at your business is aware of how to act at work. But sometimes, there are conflicts between an employee and the employer. Articulating a clear grievance procedure will help resolve these situations in a manner agreeable to everyone.

Your grievance procedure should cover:

  • The process for submitting a complaint
  • How long it takes to respond
  • The company’s investigation process
  • Any confidentiality agreements
  • Possible outcomes of the complaint
  • The appeals process

Discipline and termination policies

Employees and employers need to know what happens if a given policy is not followed, which is why discipline and termination policies are essential. These help enforce compliance by informing employees not only of potential consequences, but also of their rights in the event of disciplinary action.

These policies should detail:

  • How the company responds to a rule violation
  • How incidents against company policy are investigated
  • How employees can appeal discipline
  • Reasons for termination
  • Pre-and-post termination procedures

Use Lumiform to draft concise and intuitive policies and procedures specific to your company needs. You can adapt an existing template (link to template when created) to suit your needs or use our form builder to write your own custom HR materials. And, since the templates are digital and mobile-friendly, employees can review your policies easily from anywhere.

Policy formalizing

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