Building a Better Business from the Inside: Policies and Procedures

Here on the Larsen Law Offices, LLC blog, we talk a lot about how a Denver, Colorado transactional lawyer can help you better manage your professional relationships. And, most certainly, those external relationships play an important role in the financial health of your business. Another important piece of the successful business puzzle is whether your business has the policies and procedures it needs in place. In this post, we’re going to talk about why you need policies and procedures. Then, we’ll explain some of the most common ones used.

The Importance of Policies and Procedures in Your Business

Policies and procedures is a broad term that encompasses the various policies your business has in place and how your business operates. Documenting this information serves several purposes. One of the most important purposes is quality control. When your business has documented policies and procedures in place, it helps ensure your clients receive consistent quality of the goods or services provided to them. It provides a roadmap for your employees and contractors to follow to fulfill the scope of their responsibilities. And, related to the roadmap idea, written policies and procedures act as both a training tool and a reference tool for employees as well. Policies and procedures also explain to employees what is and what isn’t acceptable in the workplace. This includes, but may not be limited to, policies related to dress, requesting vacation time, and the attendance policy.

9 Policies and Procedures Most Businesses Need

Written procedures for every job or project. Whether you have employees or simply work with contractors when you have projects, you need written procedures. When outlining every job within your business, you create a procedures manual that can be used for training and that can also act as a tool of reference. It should include the name of the position, the amount of authority the employee holds in their position, how each task should be performed, and how performance will be measured. If you bring on contractors for individual projects, each project should include an explanation of tasks, the goals that should be achieved, and the timeline by which the project should be completed.

Written business policies. Business policies are policies that explain how the business operates. This includes when the business operates (for example, Monday through Friday 7:30 am to 7:30 pm except for federal or bank holidays); whether employment is full-time, part-time, as needed, or contract work; pay and benefits (including commission, bonuses, health insurance, disability insurance, and retirement); how to request paid vacation time off and whether unused vacation rolls over and can be paid out; how sick leave time is accumulated; acceptable work place behavior and how HR complaints may be filed as well as how those complaints will be investigated; and the attendance policy. There are other policies that should be drafted as well. We’re only highlighting some of the most common ones.

Disciplinary policy. Providing a written disciplinary policy helps your employees and contractors understand what is and isn’t acceptable in the workplace. It may cover absenteeism, drug use, employee or contractor misconduct, dress code enforcement, and how disciplinary matters will be addressed by the business. For example, for minor first-time offenses, the business policy may be a verbal warning and include a written record in the employee’s file for future reference. It may also explain which behaviors or actions may result in automatic termination.

Harassment and retaliation policy. This is a written description of what your business considers as harassment, how harassment may be reported, and explains how the business will not seek or condone retaliatory behavior for filing a harassment complaint.

Performance review policy. A performance review policy explains how often performance reviews will occur (for example, on an annual basis). It explains how the performance review is conducted as well. It may also mention whether the employee will receive certain incentives, such as a yearly raise, to encourage positive contributions to the business.

Safety policies. Safety policies explain best practices that reflect the requirements of both state and federal law for your industry. It will also include information on how to report safety issues, how to safely use equipment, and may also explain how an employee may file a worker’s compensation claim if they have an on-the-job injury or work-related illness.

Technology use policy. The technology use policy may explain whether the business allows use of personal devices for company business, whether the business distributes certain devices for business use, and how the computers and other technology within the building may be used. It may include which websites may be blocked by the company’s VPN. Since many industries have specific regulations they must comply with that relate to company and client data, a technology policy is very important.

Privacy policy. The privacy policy protects your employees, your business, and your clients. It also provides a measure of comfort for your clients as this policy explains how you use their data. This is often used in conjunction with a confidentiality policy that describes how sensitive information is protected.

Credit policy. If your business provides credit to clients, a credit policy is an important document. It describes how credit limits are determined, when clients may ask for a credit increase, what happens when a client misses a payment, whether your business applies late fees and penalties, and the credit check process.

Need Help Drafting Your Policies and Procedures?

As you’ve learned, written policies and procedures is very beneficial for your business. If you need help drafting your policies and procedures, Larsen Law Offices, LLC can help. Located in Denver, Colorado, Susan Larsen has more than 30 years of experience as a transactional lawyer. Larsen Law is ready to help you create the policies and procedures that will help you protect your business. Thanks to technology, Larsen Law Offices, LLC provides transactional lawyer services such as drafting policies and procedures for businesses across the United States. To schedule your consultation, call Larsen Law Offices, LLC at 303-520-6030!