There were many events and unforeseen circumstances in 2020 that disrupted the workplace as we once knew it. Organizational weaknesses (and strengths) were exposed, and much-needed change was put on the fast-track. Today, company policies and culture are evolving at a rapid pace to meet the ever-changing needs of employees. In a world where there are one million more jobs than people looking for work, employers are under pressure manage employee expectations on a new level to retain their best talent. As an organization navigating through these changes, it’s important to be constantly evaluating your company policies for improvement. Here are five company policies you must consider adding and/or evaluating in order to remain competitive today:
Companies play a huge part when it comes to societal change and more companies than ever are doing their part to publicly take a stand against racial injustices, inequalities, and gender pay gaps. Today, employees are expecting to hear from their employers how they’re driving change and what specific action’s they’re taking to foster a more diverse and inclusive workplace. When it comes to your company policies, having one on DE&I is crucial and upholding it with consistency is even more so. Read also: 4 Ways To Foster A More Diverse And Inclusive Workplace
Mental health support
Throughout the pandemic, mental health support has become increasingly important to and valued by employees. Whether they need a little extra help to perform at their best or are struggling with burnout, employees want to know you value and support their well-being. If you haven’t already, consider evaluating your company policies for mental health awareness and support in the workplace. Do your employees have someone to reach out to if they need to talk? Do they have the resources to easily access mental health services? Read also: How Employers Can Support Employees to Avoid Post-COVID Burnout
Remote work and flexibility
Prior to the pandemic, a lot of companies were reluctant to implement any type of workplace flexibility for the fear of productivity falling by the wayside. However, many employees were quick to prove themselves as they were equally or more productive while working from home. While flexibility was unexpectedly an outcome of the pandemic, it has become a necessity for most people moving forward. Consider implementing company policies that build a culture focused on results, not hours. Whether that is offering more flexible scheduling or implementing a hybrid remote environment, there are many flexible work options to explore. Read also: Companies Should Bend Towards Flexible Scheduling
Health and safety
A health and safety policy should look a lot different in today’s landscape. With COVID trends evolving, your employees may still have very valid concerns about their health and well-being. To ensure staff feel supported and safe, your company policies surrounding a “return to the workplace” should reflect this. In fact, they should be regularly assessed to address any new concerns or best practices regarding the pandemic.
For example, you may be eager to have your staff return to the office at least a few days a week. At this stage, however, consider making this optional. Your employees will value having a choice, especially since they may live with immunocompromised family members or young children. Aside from that, ensure you have a policy in place regarding masks, sanitation, and vaccinations for people within the office. Also consider what protocols you have in place if someone in the office tests positive for COVID, travels to a high-risk area, or is directly exposed. Read also: 6 Strategies For Developing A Return To Work Plan
Office dress code
Casual Fridays may have once seemed like a benefit to working at your organization, but it’s time to rethink this as a “perk” offered once a week. Employers are already facing pushback from employees who don’t want to return to the office, even on a part-time basis—add on a formal dress code, and your employees will be even less excited.
While certain casual attire like sweatpants and pajamas is still not be appropriate for the office, consider allowing your employees to have more leeway over what they wear. Letting them dress for their day, for example, can be a great morale booster and help show staff that you trust them. That may mean dressing up for client visits and meetings, but dressing down for a full day at the desk. Company policies such as these may differ by each individual business, so it is certainly reasonable to set guidelines as to what is appropriate and not appropriate for your workplace.