Thursday, April 25, 2024

Does my small business need policies or procedures?

The simple answer to this question is yes, you do. If you have even a couple of employees, having some good guidelines is important so that everyone knows what they should be doing and what needs to be done. A small company will need very few, as it is easier to scale up than having nothing when an issue arises. You probably have a lot of them in your head, but other's need to know and understand them.

Having some documentation about some of the standard questions is a good idea because then everyone gets the same answer, which is very important. Some of the guidelines that should be outlined are:

  • Vacation – how much time off do I get and am I entitled to vacation?
  • Hours – what are the standard hours of the business?
  • Overtime – if I work overtime, am I paid for it in money or in lieu time?
  • Personal time off – is this allowed or is it again either my vacation time or I don’t get paid?
  • Sick leave – what is the policy about sick leave, one day versus many days?
  • Social media and personal communications during work hours

These are just a few ideas of guidelines that should be documented so that everyone understands what is required of them. Knowing that everyone has the same understanding is important because it means that everyone is working with the same knowledge.

When you are a small business, it is still a good idea to make sure that you have some documentation, even if it is just one or two of you. Documentation will help remind you of decisions that were made, or also what steps are required to preform a specific or infrequent task. Having some guidelines when you are a small business means that as you add or change staff, it is a lot easier to just continue adding to the guidelines instead of suddenly realizing that you don’t have any and everyone thinks differently about how things are done.

One of the biggest guidelines I am now noticing that maybe no one wants to address is the social media during work hours. Making sure that you have something that outlines what is and isn’t allowed in regard to social media. Can any employee post on behalf of the business, or is it up to one individual to do that posting. Can an employee spend quite a bit of their time checking Facebook, Instagram, TikTok or any other social media during their work hours? If checking social media is part of the job, sure it can be done, but it needs to have guidelines.

Having some guidelines and procedures is always a good thing so that everyone knows what is acceptable and what isn’t. It helps make the business run a little smoother because everyone understands what is expected of them. Sure, the guidelines and procedures don’t have to be as detailed as if you are big business, but they are still needed. It is harder to discipline someone for doing something you don't like if you don't have policies written down, communicated and available to all staff.

If you are uncertain where you should start, you can always reach out to us, and we will try and assist you in making sure everyone in your business understands what they should and shouldn’t be doing to support your business goals.

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