HR Policies that Every Small Business Should Implement

Managing a business is an immense task and as such, much thought goes into ensuring that everything runs smoothly. One area where businesses need to ensure they have the proper system in place is their human resource policies. This is even more true for small companies and companies that are newly founded. Implementing secure and well-thought-out policies will keep the work environment productive and peaceful, as employees who know exactly what measures are offered to them feel at ease over consistency at their jobs. Below is a list of the HR policies that every small business needs to ensure they have in-place, compiled by the leaders of successful businesses.

Maternity and Paternity Leave

Welcoming a new member into the family is a joyous occasion that deserves celebration and adequate time off. Your company needs to ask itself, “What kind of policy will we implement concerning time off for mothers? What about paternity leave? Do we differentiate between the length of maternity and paternity leave?” Addressing such questions in your policy will save you time in the long run and also offers a chance for your company to establish what kind of message you will send to employees regarding the weight you place on the importance of families. This can be a great opportunity for your company to portray its values.

Jeremy Goldstein, CEO, Navitar

Grievance Policies

Small businesses need to have a grievance policy in place. Employees need to be supported and have somewhere to turn in times of crisis. If they don’t feel supported by their company, it could make things worse for them and negatively affect their performance.

Jordan Smyth, Founder, Gleamin

Open-Door Policy for Communication

Every small business should implement an open-door policy and direct lines of communication. Too often, team members may second-guess their work or feel uncomfortable asking the hard questions. This shouldn’t be the case. If leaders build good relationships with their team, then employees will not hesitate to reach out when they need assistance.

Ryan Rottman, Co-Founder and CEO, OSDB

Policies for Time Off

Make sure to implement vacation and leave policies so that your employees end up getting the time off they deserve for their hard work and in case of urgent circumstances. Employees will appreciate knowing these things as early as they start working for you rather than having to figure it out later.

Joaquín Roca, Co-Founder and CEO, Minerva

Harassment and Anti-Discrimination

A critical policy to establish is one that protects employees against harassment and discrimination. This is often an issue that eventually becomes addressed in a workplace, so employees need to know such issues will not be tolerated. This way, employees feel safe and heard if ever a problem arises. To learn more on how to prevent Harassment and Discrimination in your Workplace, visit Safety Talk Ideas

Charlie McKenna, Chef & Founder, Lillie’s Q

An Honor System for Time Off

Depending on the size of the team and the management style, consider moving to a sick and vacation day policy that is based on the honor system – with its limits, of course. We’ve found that, in a very small team environment, building and breeding trust among employees is paramount to scaling because each team member sees the impact of their contribution when they are in and out of office.  Over time, that policy will likely shift based on how the culture naturally develops.

Robbie Salter, Co-Founder, Jupiter

Return to Education

Employees often wish to return to school to continue or further their development and turn to the HR department of their company to learn the procedure. Therefore, it is a necessity to have an established plan in place. Another consideration is whether your company is able to offer tuition assistance to those who are hired while enrolled in school or choose to return to their education. Implementing a flexible policy concerning the return to education is a wonderful benefit your company can offer, raising the general positivity of the company.

Jacques-Edouard Sabatier, Co-Founder and CEO, JOW

Monitoring the Company Culture

Each small business must set up their HR departments in a way that works well for both the company and the employee. So, the first matter at hand should always be monitoring the company culture. All it takes is one employee to diminish everything that you’ve worked hard to build, including inclusivity, engagement and more. That’s why HR always needs to be one step ahead.

Travis Killian, Owner and CEO, Everlasting Comfort

Health and Safety Policies

Health and safety policies are important for small businesses. Outline exactly what employees need to do in an emergency situation. If someone injures themselves on the job, they’ll need to know that they’ll be able to take the necessary time out to protect themselves. Health insurance for employees is also necessary.

Dr. Anthony Puopolo, Chief Medical Officer, REX MD

Drugs and Alcohol

Depending on a company’s values and mission, some will often put in place a policy regarding the employee consumption of drugs and alcohol. I recommend that all companies institute such a policy, as having a thorough set of forbearances will avoid a problem in the future. Remember that everything employees do on their own time can be traced back to the company. Small businesses in particular have more difficulty controlling a scandal. A drugs and alcohol policy–particularly in relation to an employee social media policy–is a strategy small businesses should not exclude.

Manish Joneja, CEO, BarkBox

Disciplinary Policy

A generally less celebrated and less talked-about HR policy that must be implemented is the disciplinary policy. While not the most enjoyable area to enforce at work, it’s important for every small business to have a disciplinary policy. If you are just starting your business, you may be focused on getting it off the ground. However, it’s important that employees follow the rules and that there is a policy in place to discipline and appraise them. This way you can have meaningful and useful performance reviews.

Vincent Bradley, CEO and Co-Founder, Proper Wild

 When it comes to implementing HR policies that every small business should have, seeking guidance from employee ownership trust advisors can be invaluable. Learn more about their corporate finance services, including their expertise in employee ownership trusts, and ensure your small business has the necessary policies in place for success.

Training and Personal Development

Small businesses should implement a policy for employees who undergo training or personal development courses. An advancement in employees’ learning often benefits the company in new ways which means a policy that addresses how such measures can be conducted will save your company the hassle in the future when the question arises.

Jeff Henretig, President, Apothecanna

Employee Feedback

Human Resources can make or break your relationships with your employees, either decreasing or driving team engagement, and lowering or raising employee retention. Therefore, there are a few things every HR department should take under consideration. For example, it is an excellent move to implement anonymous employee surveys. It’s important that you not only receive employee feedback, but that you receive real responses from team members with no fear of retribution. This data is priceless!

Dylan Fox, Founder & CEO, Assembly AI

Social Presence

It is necessary for employees to understand how their presence online affects the company. In the new day and age of rapid communication and content development on digital platforms it is extremely important to monitor the way one interacts online. A scandal that could wreck a small business can occur in seconds digitally. Therefore, a policy on employees’ acceptable social presence is essential.

Adam Rossiter, Co-Founder, Bulk

Kayla Watson

A proficient business content writer with a flair for distilling complex concepts into clear, insightful narratives. With a deep understanding of industry trends and a talent for crafting compelling stories, they provide valuable insights that inform and engage readers, helping them navigate the dynamic world of commerce.

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