We consistently hear that business owners are frustrated with the amount of paperwork they feel they have to do around human resources for their business.
Yes, these things can take a fair bit of time (not so much when you have processes in place, or professionally created documentation that you know meets all the requirements) but it can cost you loads more in time, money, productivity and even legal costs if you don’t.
Let’s take employment contracts for example…
When an issue arises, if an organisation doesn’t have a proper employment contract in place, then it could prove challenging for either party to effectively back up their claims.
Yes, there’s the Fair Work guidelines, which covers off the legislative and bare minimum requirements for all organisations, but historically, these guidelines have a bend towards protecting the employee, not generally the business or the business owner.
To protect the business, the business owner and the employee you need to have some documentation, policies and procedures in place.
In my extensive experience, at a bare minimum what you need is:
- Employment Contract
- Basic policies around ‘Equal Employment Opportunity’, ‘Bullying and Harassment’, and ‘Code of Conduct’
- And more recently, ‘Use of Social Media Policy’…..
Many businesses have policies in place that state employees cannot use social media platforms during their working hours and can only access it on their breaks.
But what should you have in place when it comes to employees own personal use, even if it is outside of working hours?
Should you have guidelines and policies?
Could you have issues in the future?
At the large end of the scale of social media drama, there was the much-watched Israel Folau case. The prominent rugby player was sacked for the personal views he shared online, on the grounds he breached Rugby Union’s Code of Conduct.
Many employees have been sacked for expressing their opinions on a large scale.
But what happens when it is small scale even on a platform being used to share work-place information.
Recently, a small dental practice with a close-knit team found it helpful to use Facebook Messenger to share work-related information. This approach unfortunately backfired when an employee shared an opinion that wasn’t meant for the whole team to read.
Messaging the wrong person or group is a very easy mistake to make and one most of us have made over the years. But when the workplace is involved and the comments are not complimentary, the fallout can be distressing and damaging.
If your business has/uses Social Media, my recommendations would be:
- Encourage your employees to stick to work-related conversations online (and don’t forget to lead by example!)
- Put in place a Social Media Policy
- How would an employee’s rant on social media effect your business?
- What is appropriate and inappropriate use of social media on your business owned computers?