Few things are as difficult as starting a new business. Besides the obvious challenges involving funds, initial business strategies, and satisfying legal requirements, hiring the right employees can make or break your new company. Bring in the right people and your business can flourish, making it through those admittedly rocky first few years. Bring in the wrong people, however, and even a sound business strategy may not be enough to survive. To increase your chances of success, you’ll need to establish important business policies before you start hiring. These policies can help your company achieve its goals while also clearly communicating to future employees all that’s expected of them. The following are five such policies that need to be set before hiring your first employee.
1. At-Will Employment Disclaimer
This disclaimer essentially explains that the relationship between employer and employee is a voluntary one which can be ended by either party at any time for any reason. Perhaps an employee would like to go into a new line of work. This disclaimer allows him or her to leave your company whenever they’d like. Or perhaps you need to let one of your employees go. The disclaimer gives you the power to do that at a moment’s notice. At-will employment disclaimers give companies and employees maximum freedom and flexibility when it comes to employment. It also helpfully explains the nature of the employment situation, which can discourage any confusion on the issue.
2. Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)
This fairly straightforward policy is one of the most important you can establish. An EEO policy essentially means that all workers at your company will be treated equally and fairly. This includes not taking into account an employee’s sex, race, age, ethnicity, or religion. It also includes equal treatment for those who are disabled or a veteran of the armed services. Laws regarding what statuses are protected do sometimes change, so it’s important to keep up to date with what the laws are locally, statewide, and nationally.
3. Compensation and Benefits Policies
Employees are going to want to work for you but not just because the job can be fulfilling; they also want to get something out of it. Compensation and benefits policies outline exactly how employees will get paid, but they do more than that. They explain how raises are earned and the requirements for getting bonuses. These policies also talk about the benefits that you provide as an employer, whether it’s company-provided health insurance, a retirement plan, or dental coverage. All of these aspects can weigh heavily on the mind of employees, so spelling out how these policies work is a crucial step.
4. Time Off Policy
At the same time, employees want to know how getting time off works. You should have a clear policy that shows what holidays (if any) are taken off. Your company should also set a vacation policy that’s easy to understand and follow, so employees can plan ahead for their valuable vacation time. Sick leave is another matter that should be addressed, particularly if it involves combining vacation time. A time off policy also needs to show how something like vacation time might increase the longer an employee spends with the company.
5. Acceptable Use of Technology
It has become more important than ever to create an acceptable use of technology policy that explains to employees the proper use of office equipment like computers and printers. Even more important is setting out a bring your own device (BYOD) policy, that allows workers to bring their personal smartphones and tablets into work for their jobs. BYOD policies, like acceptable use of technology policies, should outline the proper use of personal devices, taking into account productivity along with the security issues BYOD raises. Ignoring this aspect of business could lead to more confusion and problems within your company.
With all the hurdles that rise up when creating a new business, you’ll likely want all the help that you can get. These useful policies can help you clear some of those hurdles, in turn giving you more time and energy to focus on the other factors that demand your attention. With these policies in place, you’ll have a better chance of hiring employees who know what their roles in the company are and how best to manage them. Success is never guaranteed in the business world, but the above policies are a good place to start.