I often, when speaking to business owners, tell them that everything is always good until it’s not. I know this sounds pretty obvious but the problem is that people end up getting blindsided with the issues they face when things take a turn for the worse or issues start arising. It is in those moments that you realise you haven’t considered ensuring staff understand expectations, what is acceptable and not acceptable in terms of behaviour and standard business rules around how things are done in the business.
The other thing that ends up happening is that there are no clear processes put in place in how issues are dealt with that protects the business as well as ensuring fairness and duty of care for all employees is followed. These are extremely important to prevent further issues for all involved including potential industrial relations action for all parties. The result of this occurring is varied, it is extremely time consuming, damaging to not only the business reputation but also individuals involved, costly as well as increases stress levels, mental health decline, productivity decline and ripples further out to affect families and communities of those involved.
The single piece of advice I can give business owners is to take the time to put in place employment contracts for all employees that documents all of the standard terms & conditions of employment and also points to policies and procedures of the business. Take the time to implement standard policies and procedures that deal with how the business does things, expectations, what is acceptable and not and how issues are handled where there are breaches of policy.
Where a businesses makes vehicles available to utilise in the course of completing work it is extremely important to ensure staff understand their responsibilities when using a work vehicle. For example, traffic infringements being their responsibility, zero tolerance for alcohol/drugs, when they have to declare prescribed medication effects, that they must declare any alterations to their licence, if they are required to complete a log book as well as declaring any insurance issues.
Often when I am called in to assist I need to go through a process of educating employees, supervisors and managers around fair work australia requirements, what needs to be put into place and then start the process of dealing with poor behaviours. This often takes a bit longer than the business owner would prefer but because documentation of previous meetings has not occurred or there is no clear communication around business expectations, it is necessary to back track slightly to ensure the business is protected from Industrial Relation Action as well as ensuring fair processes have been followed.
Think about your business and examine if you have all of this in place, it’s not too late! It doesn’t matter if your business has 1 or 50 employee’s, the time spent in ensuring you have this in place will pay off for you in the future. Better employee relations because they are clear on policies, procedures and expectations. Clear understanding of what will occur where there are breaches and clear processes of how these issues will be handled for all. Obviously when there are issues emotions become heightened, ensuring these processes are in place helps minimise fallout for all involved whilst also demonstrating consistency of actions and fairness to all.
If you need help with any of these areas, call MLG Consulting today on 0422143543 for a free initial consult.
Have a great week!!!!