We create HR policies to set expectations for our employees and create a better place for them to work. As times change, we must reevaluate the policies we set to build better relationships with our employees. There are a few policies you may want to remove from your policy in 2019, and we are going to break down why today.
Proof For Sick/Funeral Leave
We’ve all been there: being sick enough to know you shouldn’t be at the office, but not sick enough to waste hours of your day at a doctor’s office. When our throats are scratchy, eyes watery, and we have a terrible cough, we usually don’t need an official diagnosis. Most people probably wouldn’t get a diagnosis from a doctor unless it was for work.
Building trust with your employees is paramount if you want to make sure that your workers don’t abuse your sick leave policy. You don’t want to force anyone to come to work who can’t afford a doctor’s visit. Forcing sick employees to go to work only makes more workers, and it makes your office less productive.
Instead of forcing people to come to work, consider having them do work remotely or removing this policy from your handbook altogether in 2019.
When it comes to funeral leave, expecting employees to bring in proof after dealing with the death of a loved one can seem callous. No matter your profession, you’ve likely heard someone complain about how often an employee said their aunt passed away, and this can be concerning. As employers, we must balance the need for proof and being a compassionate human.
Deaths in the family can happen at any time. You should always be as empathetic as possible during this time and believe your workers as much as you possibly can. Being unnecessarily cruel to an employee going through a death in the family will look negative and impact your relationship with other employees. Chances are, your employees may not know another employee is lying, but they will know how you treated that employee when they needed bereavement pay.
Blocking Social Media At Work
Blocking social media won’t make your employees inherently more productive. There will always be something to distract your employees like the ticking of an office clock or looking out a window. If your employees are getting distracted, you should be working to solve the problem of why they are so distracted by the work they are doing.
When you block social media, it gives the impression that you don’t trust your employees to get their work done effectively. Social media can often be a great way to give your brain a break, check up on industry news, or share fun projects your company is working on.
Instead of blocking social media, create boundaries for your workers. Make sure they know what work they are responsible for. If they can browse social media and get their jobs done effectively, they shouldn’t be punished for it. If they drop the ball due to social media use, they dropped the ball and should be reprimanded accordingly. Social media use won’t inherently make employees bad at their jobs.
We live in a world where freelancing is more common. People need to work extra hours to pay their bills and live a better life. We know that 1 in 3 Americans took part in the gig economy last year. Chances are, some of your employees did as well.
Employees are driving for Lyft, selling their design and writing services, walking dogs, and more to make extra income. The freelance economy is booming because people need more money to survive in uncertain times. You shouldn’t fault employees for making the money they need to survive. What’s the alternative to freelancing? Not knowing how they will pay their bills, feed their kids, or make it to work the next day? Moonlighting is a necessity for many employees.
Allow your employees to freelance and take part in the gig economy. Set boundaries to make sure that these side jobs are strictly side jobs. You can mandate that employees sign contracts that state they won’t poach clients, work on their side gig at work, et cetera.
You never know, your company may even benefit from the side work that your employees do. Take a genuine interest in the side projects your employees are working on and see how you can expand their roles (with pay) to fit those side jobs.
Now that you understand the reasons for removing proof for sick/funeral leave, blocking social media at work, and moonlighting the removal is up to you and your team. These policies were once useful, but in a world where we want people to love their jobs, we have to be careful about the policies we implement. What kind of message do your company policies send to employees? Consider that as you determine what policies you choose to enforce and which ones you decide to remove.