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5 Workplace Policies That Can Help Improve Employee Productivity

Published on 8/4/2017 12:00:00 AM
Workplace Policies for Employee Productivity

An employee policy manual or handbook is a valuable tool for outlining company rules and expectations. Just as important, a current, compliant handbook can help prevent employee behaviors that can lead to legal consequences, including lawsuits.

But here’s another benefit of an employee handbook you may have overlooked: increased productivity. That’s right! Certain policies can positively affect employee productivity by setting expectations for attendance, breaks and time off, and the use of personal devices and social media. Without the parameters in these policies, your employees may take advantage of company time and resources, which can hurt engagement and output.

Help pave the way to greater productivity by including these five policies in your employee handbook:

Attendance policy
This policy should cover work hours, start and finish times, and the notification and reporting procedures if an employee is going to be late or absent due to illness or other circumstances.
An attendance policy may include statements such as:
Supervisors will set schedules based on the needs of the business
Being late for work, or returning late from breaks or lunch, is considered tardiness
Not reporting to work, or not notifying the supervisor of the reason for absence for three consecutive days, is grounds for termination
Time-off policy
This policy should detail how much paid time off (PTO) an employee receives, how it accrues and a timeframe for submitting requests.
A time-office policy may include statements such as:
Requests may be prioritized according to seniority or on a “first come, first served” basis during busy seasons and holidays
PTO taken above the accrued time can result in progressive discipline up to and including termination
Blackout periods may apply during certain busy periods
Break policy
Although federal law doesn’t require you to provide meal, lunch or break periods, employers do so as a matter of good will. This policy should cover your guidelines surrounding breaks, and whether they’re paid.
A break policy may include statements such as:
Break times and lengths vary, depending on the time of year or department
Employees should not stop working until breaks begin and are expected to resume work immediately at the end of the break
Employees may not leave company property during breaks without a supervisor’s permission
Social media policy
This policy can cover various aspects of social media usage, but for the purposes of productivity, you’ll want to identify acceptable usage of personal accounts — such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — during working hours.
A social media policy may include statements such as:
Personal use of social media must not interfere with work responsibilities, or
Personal use of social media is only permitted on breaks, or
Personal use of social media strictly prohibited on all company devices
Bring your own device (BYOD) policy
This policy has emerged as more and more employees turn to their own devices, such as smartphones, laptops and tablets, for business purposes. It should cover which devices are allowed, how you’ll monitor them and any usage limitations.
A BYOD policy may include statements such as:
Off-the-clock business activity (such as checking emails on a phone) is prohibited based on “hours worked” rules under the FLSA
Certain security features are required (such as anti-virus software or the use of a password)
Employees using personal devices for business must comply with any applicable privacy laws

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Ashley Kaplan, Esq.
Presented by: Ashley Kaplan, Esq.,
Senior Employment Law Attorney
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