Company policies: what they are, types and characteristics

Organizations are places where people don’t just work. Human contact is inevitable and, from there, a very different organizational culture is created from one company to another.

This is why sometimes, among the staff, rules can be implicitly accepted that all workers try to follow, but it can get a bit confusing and lead to misunderstandings.

To avoid such situations, companies write company policies, which specify what workers cannot do and what workers cannot do, such as the philosophy of the organization and how should the interaction with buyers be. Let’s take a closer look at what it is, and describe some of the types that exist and what is supposed to be specified with them.

    What are the company policies?

    Company policies are statements of general principles that an organization undertakes to respect and apply. This type of document specifies the rules and guidelines that govern the functioning of the business, establishing what is the best way to behave for employees, how they will relate appropriately to potential customers and explains how they will be developed. The rest of the documents.

    To facilitate the dissemination and understanding of company employees, it is recommended that this type of document does not contain more than two pages and that the points discussed be written as clearly as possible.

    Once the policy is developed, this should be documented and included in manuals where the management of the organization is specified. It must respect what is written there, be implemented and serve as a benchmark for good behavior and a working environment within the organization.

    Types of policies according to their scope

    Depending on the scope of company policy, these can be divided into three types:

    1. General policies

    They reach out to the entire organization and mark their outlines. Check that all departments are aware of these policies, As they serve as a guide for the behavior of all company staff.

    2. Departmental policies

    These are the rules that govern each specific department. Within this type of policy, the most common are those which specify the quality objectives to be achieved by a branch of the organization, environmental policies, prevention of occupational risks, etc.

    3. Specific policies

    It is these policies that they are configured to meet momentary needs or temporary activities that the company can achieve at any time.

    Types of policies according to which are discussed in organizations

    There are several rules that must be stipulated in the form of company policies which include a number of aspects. Depending on the characteristics of the organization and its needs, it will be necessary to develop different points in the form of company policies. Here are some of the most common:

    1. Quality management

    They must be indicated to the company policies that aim to meet the requirements and commitments set by the company.

    They should also indicate how the organization intends to improve quality in the short and long term, and on which system it should focus. This policy should be reviewed regularly.

    2. Environmental management

    Companies are required to comply with current environmental regulations and promote behaviors such as recycling, pollution reduction, The use of public transport.

    It is recommended that the company have a protocol in order to deal with an incident in which the environment has been damaged, although it is ideal to have procedures that ensure respect for nature.

    3. Occupational safety and health

    It is essential that rules are in place to ensure the responsible use of machines and other tools in the company, with the aim of preventing accidents and ensuring the physical and mental integrity of staff.

    There must also be action protocols in the event of an accident at work, What are the rights and obligations of the worker for his own safety and that of his colleagues, and to what extent is the company responsible for misuse?

    4. Corporate governance

    It should specify how the organization is run. Understanding who is behind the company’s movements is crucial, as this will clarify what the goals of this organization as a whole are and what its philosophy is.

    5. Staff conduct

    Policies focused on this point indicate what tasks employees perform and their responsibilities when in the workplace.

    This can be crucial in ensuring a good working climate, but it can include aspects that may cause some controversy, so it should be made clear what workers can and cannot do.

    Some of the topics covered at this point are dress code or when electronic devices can be used to communicate with family.

    6. Compensation and anti-harassment policies

    It is essential to specify how the company acts in the event of injustice between employees or if there has been any type of incident related to harassment or abuse of power.

    In every organization, there must be a clear policy towards this, and indicate what rights and benefits can be claimed by employees who have been victims of inappropriate behavior.

    Disciplinary action must be taken for those who have committed the abuse. It is particularly important to ensure that when signing the contract it is clearly stated what is meant by discriminatory conduct and / or harassment.

      7. Substance use

      These types of trade policies are not widely known because it is generally understood that a company will not be able to consume alcohol, hallucinogenic drugs and other narcotics within the company or during working hours. However, given the characteristics of some organizations (e.g. brewery) it is sometimes necessary to specify that it cannot be consumed in the workplace.

      It may also be necessary to indicate that the consumption of drugs such as tobacco or even substitutes such as e-cigarettes is not permitted on the premises.

      In addition, action plans can be included if there is a suspicion that the person who has consumed alcohol at work actually suffers from a drug addiction problem and, knowing this, the company can take action to contribute to their rehabilitation. .

      8. Privacy and confidentiality

      If a service is offered, it is very important that the organization specifies how much will it use employee and customer data.

      These types of policies are usually aimed at protecting the company, but it also allows us to provide some transparency to the market and to the workers themselves.

      Privacy policies protect sensitive information held by the organization, to ensure a good legal relationship between staff, business and buyers.

      9. Refund

      Depending on the product or service offered by the organization, this he must be prepared for situations in which the client has expressed dissatisfaction with what he has received.

      It should be clear, either on the organization’s website or in the instruction manual that the purchased product may contain, in what situations the customer will be entitled to a refund.

      10. Ethics

      It should be specified that it is understood by an ethical behavior of the personnel both when interacting with other workers and vis-à-vis buyers or persons interested in the service of the company.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Nakamura, R., T. (1987), The textbook policy process and implementation research: Review of Policy Research 7, (1), pages 142–154, September
      • Bührs, T .; Bartlett, RV (1993). Environmental policy in New Zealand. The policy of clean and green. Oxford, UK, Oxford University Press.

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