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Set clear expectations for your employees — and make your own job easier — by creating policies and procedures that outline what's expected.
These documents support the employment agreements you have with your employees, and mean you and your staff know what will be done if there's a problem.
Policies and procedures are an important tool in managing your employees. They work alongside employment agreements to make sure both parties are clear on the expectations and obligations of the employment relationship.
Thinking about how you want your business to run, documenting it, and sharing it with your employees, will save you time and money in the long run.
A policy is a set of rules or principles to be followed in a particular area, eg a leave policy might explain your expectations for staff requesting leave, like applying at least a week in advance.
A procedure is the way something is done, e.g. the forms that need to be filled out for requesting leave.
Policies and procedures support employment agreements by providing detail on matters that might not be negotiated as part of an employment agreement.
You’ll often (but not always) have both a policy and a procedure for a particular topic. For example, your health and safety (H&S) policy might be linked to your accident reporting procedure. The policy might cover
Read more on what to do in case of an H&S issue or accident:
Your policies and procedures must be consistent with your employment agreements and your employment practices.
When you’re creating policies and procedures, you should:
Make sure your employees are aware of your policies, and if you’re making changes or developing a new policy, get their input.
Your business might benefit from a number of different policies and procedures. Although not all of them will be relevant to your business, you could consider what your house rules might be on:
Use our Workplace Policy Builder to create policies tailored to your workplace. The tool has tips to help you decide what to put in and leave out of your policy. You’ll also find common mistakes employers make and ways to avoid them.