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Practical Policies and Procedures Can Save You Money
Settling legal claims from employees can often be expensive and time consuming. It also damages morale and reputations. Having the guidelines in place is a good investment.
Warren had a beer at lunchtime, came back to his job as a forklift driver, abused the female stores clerk and carried on with his job. The warehouse manager, who was never very impressed by Warren, heard about it, accused him of being under the influence of alcohol and dismissed him. Warren claimed unfair dismissal and, after a day at the Industrial Relations Commission, was awarded three months pay. Charles did a great job of working with a new supplier to implement the new software package and was pleasantly surprised to receive a dozen bottles of his favourite red wine by courier. When he was later recruiting for a senior IT executive, the supplier's project manager applied for the position and was successful. Charles was accused of being influenced by the gift and his relationship with the supplier. He found this disturbing and a slur on his professionalism and later left the organization. While these two stories are fictional, similar cases happen quite frequently and commonly end up with claims being made by employees or a loss of valued staff. Policies and procedures for employing and managing staff are probably never going to make it on to the urgent list but, by viewing them as important, the small investment required can be well worth it. A comprehensive set of policies and procedures can provide the framework for a fair and consistent method of managing people which complies with legislation. They can also form the basis of an employee handbook which can be used to educate all employees about their obligations to the organization and fellow workers. While there will always be someone who disregards the rules, if they have been communicated, corrective action is easier to apply, easier to explain and usually far more effective. In the above cases, policies and procedures on alcohol, performance, corrective discipline, business gifts and recruitment would have assisted all the parties involved and probably averted the incidents. Policies and procedures should be developed to reflect the culture of the organization as well as the legal requirements. From a business perspective this means less time wasted, less money spent and better productivity.