As the new year approaches, you want to approach it with everything in place in terms of policies for your employees. And this is the perfect time to implement any new policies or changes to current ones–set everything up so that when 2015 comes around, employees will know your expectations right away.

Computer Security

Unfortunately, in an increasingly advanced technical world, hackers and occasional unscrupulous employees can find ways to sneak into company online computers. Make it a policy to regularly change passwords and make them somewhat complex (at least one uppercase letter, at least one symbol, etc.). Have a specific person or set of trained people in charge of security and put a program in place on computers that doesn’t allow employees to download any new software or hardware without running it through those people first. A simple “helpful” download can lead to all sorts of problems. If you’re in a large, open area, you may also want to consider having people lock their screens whenever they walk away. 

Social Media

On the heels of that, you definitely want to consider a social media policy. While many companies use social media to connect with clients, prospective employees, and the general public, you should really make it clear as to how and if employees may use social media while in a company capacity. Remind them that what they post reflects back on the company, and they hold responsibility for their posts. You may also want to put a policy in place regarding personal use of social media, particularly on work computers. Consider implementing an Acceptable Usage Policy that details how employees may use social media and specific consequences for violations. A lot of this is about reputation management, something no company can afford to gloss over. 

Vacation Time

While employers have no legal requirement to offer vacation, it stands to reason that allowing sufficient time off helps alleviate burnout and yields other health benefits to employees, all of which leads to happier, more productive workers. Consider your priorities: Do you want this PTO to be competitive, create a reward setup, or minimize costs? Decide what days the office will close (e.g., certain major holidays). Will you allow for rollover days from the previous year? If so, how many of those days will you allow employees to use and in what capacity (can they use them as PTO or sick days?), or does a “use it or lose it” policy work better for you? Look at policy from the past, consider getting employee input, and go from there.

Above all, when implementing new policies for the new year, make sure they’re clearly stated and they have the best interests of everyone in mind, both the company and its employees. Any vagueness can lead to misinterpretation. For help putting one together, visit the well-trained staff at PrideStaff.

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