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7 Internal Policies Every Small Business Should Have

As an entrepreneur, you likely have a vision for the success you want your small business to achieve. You’ve probably plotted out new products and services you can add as your company scales up. Maybe you know what your future headquarters look like.

But have you thought about your company’s internal policies?

Internal policies – essentially, guidelines dictating things such as company procedures and employee behavior – are decidedly not scintillating. They’re a background thought; chances are, as an employee, you read the worker rulebook, for instance, and never gave it another thought.

Nonetheless, internal policies set important standards for how the workplace will operate, and in many cases, cover legal necessities.

The following are a few internal policies your small business should formulate, if it hasn’t already.

Internal Policies to Consider

  • Anti-Discrimination: Policies designed to ensure that workers are not discriminated against – based on factors including (but not limited to) race, color, gender and nationality – are already required as part of various federal rules. Your policies should detail what actions are prohibited, how to report potential infractions and what the punishment(s) are for failure to comply.
  • Benefits/Remote Work: Do all workers start out with three weeks of paid vacation? Do they start with two, but gain a day of vacation every year? Every two years? What about health benefits, 401(k)s and life insurance? Also, don’t forget to address workplace flexibility – having the option to work from home is a big pull for many modern workers. You should have policies clearly outlining all benefits – mostly because they’ll be a formidable factor helping would-be employees decide whether to sign on with you.
  • Customer-Facing: Every workplace should establish policies dealing with ensuring the customer experience is as positive as possible. These policies should address things such as quality assurance, customer returns, customer service, delivery time and credit.
  • Cybersecurity: Cybersecurity isn’t just an issue for tech departments to deal with whenever problems pop up. In many cases, even rank-and-file employees are an important line of defense against data breaches and other cyber issues. Thus, it’s important to set up best practices for all workers to follow governing things such as email and browsing, as well as bring-your-own-device policies if workers use their personal smartphones and tablets for work purposes.
  • Discipline: While we’ve spent plenty of time talking about the details around hiring workers, you also must be prepared to discipline and potentially even terminate them, should worst-case scenarios play out. You should detail a very clear set of disciplinary steps, which every new employee should be required to read and understand as part of their onboarding process. That helps set expectations, not to mention protects you should a worker falsely claim that they’ve been unfairly terminated.
  • Social Media: Employees’ conduct has always reflected upon their companies, for better or for worse, but social media has vastly complicated this particular relationship. Because employees are representing your brand anywhere their name is associated with your business, you should set policies to reflect what rules and guidelines, if any, you want them to follow on any social media accounts while under your employ.
  • Workplace Safety: Sure, the types of dangers that employees are exposed to are shifting as the U.S. shifts away from industries, such as manufacturing and toward ones such as software and services. Nonetheless, it’s in your best interest to develop workplace safety policies to help reduce the chances that a worker will be incapacitated.

If you’re unsure which internal policies you absolutely must have in place, or need a hand in developing policies that will foster a safe and attractive workplace for your employees, reach out to the business experts at McManamon & Co. We can assist professional services and other types of small and midsize companies with a host of issues, including developing internal policies and procedures that should serve as a strong foundation for your budding business.

Don’t leave holes in your internal policies. Call us at 440.892.9088 or contact us online today.

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