Returning to Work? Secure Compliance by Revisiting Your Policies and Procedures
As states nationwide prepare to reopen their businesses for operation, it’s essential that business owners review current policies and procedures to instill consistency, structure, and compliance. As a business owner, you should have plans to revisit your policies and consider making the necessary accommodations to encourage a smooth transition. Without policies and procedures, your business runs the risk of failing to adjust to the workplace post-COVID-19, as well as possibly breaking compliance laws. Our team of experts can assist in putting these documents together, but we also stand to ensure that each member of your team, whether returning to the office or working remotely, receives and understands the said policies and procedures. COVID-19 has already impaired the economy — having HR partners on your side to help navigate the changes will protect your business in the long-run.
What Aspect of My Policies and Procedures Should I Revisit First?
We strongly advise you team up with an HR partner to handle this prior to returning to the office — especially considering additional changes are predicted to arise upon returning to work. Your policies and procedures should establish and manage employee expectations, in addition to complying with all legal requirements. Here are a few things to consider reviewing before returning to work:
- Take Another Look At Your Employee Handbook. You’ll likely need to make updates, instill new policies, and/or reemphasize old ones.
- Reemphasize Your Discrimination and Harassment Policy. Discrimination in the workplace is expected to rise. Make sure your employees are aware of your zero-tolerance policy.
- Reevaluate Current Employee Benefits. This includes making adjustments to paid leave, attendance, work hours, layoffs, furlough, and more.
- Update Your Hiring & Recruiting Practices. Are you prepared to recruit top talent with the current adjustment to remote work and virtual recruiting? This will change as the workplace adapts to the new norm.
- Adjust Your Remote Work Policy. You need a policy in place for COVID-19 measures. Also, consider making accommodations for employees with families.
The current state of COVID-19 requires employers to not only revisit current aspects of their policies and procedures but also to introduce new adaptations. Consider the following additions:
- Develop a Return-to-Work Plan. All safety measures — from federal to local orders should be clearly communicated with your team. Frequently refer to CDC guidance to protect your business.
- Put Together a Plan for COVID-19 Cases and Outbreaks. Consider developing policies for at-risk employees while also ensuring you’re not discriminating against any team member who may be at risk or is showing symptoms.
- Develop Office Safety Protocols. In addition to providing PPE, cleaning supplies, and limiting employee contact, it’s essential to clearly outline employee expectations.
- Share the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). You should have several posters visible in the office, as well as on a shared drive so your remote workers have access as well.
- Implement a Checklist. This is the optimal way to stay organized, and track your progress to assure you have everything ready prior to reopening.
In order for businesses to function properly, policies and procedures must be a top priority. The biggest aspect of prioritizing them is making adjustments based on federal, state, and local orders. Your employees should understand what is acceptable and what isn’t as the workplace continues to change as a result of COVID-19. Having clear-cut policies builds employee retention and exudes respect and discipline among all employees. HR Affiliates is here to help implement policies and procedures that enforce both safety and compliance.
HR Partners There to Protect Your Business Every Time
With over 25 years of combined experience in the human resources world, we are consistently adapting our approach to ensure your business receives the highest quality of service. The workplace is constantly evolving as unexpected shifts occur economically and legally. It’s important that your HR team is well-versed on these changes and how they affect your business. Build HR policies and procedures that both accentuate your company culture, and assure clarity, structure, and consistency, to existing and future employees. Fill out the form below and we’ll be more than happy to assist you throughout the entire process.