Workplace health and safety concern is one of the major aspects that companies should look into. Every business has a set of rules and regulations that should be followed by the employees and employers to maintain order and a healthy working environment.
Developing well-written workplace policies that cover all kinds of concerns is vital. The next step is to implement the workplace policies. This involves creating awareness of these policies among the employees. This step should be carried out as a part of the induction process.
What is a Workplace Policy?
Simply put, a workplace policy is a set of rules that underpins how employees and employers are supposed to behave in the workplace. It essentially conveys a company’s values, expectations and workers’ behavior and performance. It also establishes the implications of not following the principles.
A company policy addresses a variety of issues and clearly defines the purpose of the organization and the plans of actions to be taken in order to achieve that purpose. The basic idea behind a workplace policy is to instill norms and values. It helps in shaping the culture and ethics of an organization.
Why Employees Should Obey Workplace Rules
The workplace rules help in protecting the rights and safety of the employees. Let’s take a look at the importance of obeying workplace rules.
#1. Helps in Fulfilling the Goals of the Company
Ideally, the entire team in a workplace is working towards the same goals. Everyone is required to follow the same regulations laid down by the company. However, when an employee violates a certain rule even with the best intentions in mind, it can adversely affect the workflow. Not only does it hamper effective communication, it also makes it difficult for the team members to accomplish the tasks.
#2. Creates Uniformity
One of the primary reasons to obey workplace rules is to create uniformity. Rules help in ensuring that everyone in the organization maintains the standards and codes of conduct. Obeying the rules and regulations ensures that there are no different interpretations of proper conduct in the workplace at the employees’ discretion. It helps in maintaining consistency, thus leading to a uniform workflow.
#3. Ensures Safety
Safety is a major concern that is addressed in a workplace policy. These concerns may include personal injuries, fire accidents, harassment, bullying and so on. Additionally, in industrial sites, workers are required to deal with heavy and dangerous machinery, hazardous elements on a regular basis. For example, construction workers handle hot cement etc., chefs use hot stoves and so on. This increases the chances of accidents.
Other workplace safety issues may include electrical dangers, vehicular accidents etc. Some of these concerns may require accident investigation to determine the causes and enforce measures and policies to prevent them from occurring again.
Obeying workplace safety reduces the possibilities of these accidents considerably. As a result, it reduces the healthcare costs of employers. However, no workplace is devoid of hazards. Therefore, the safety policies are constantly updated based on the occurrences.
According to New York workers compensation lawyer and personal injury advocate Finkelstein & Partners, workers filed 14,300 worker’s compensation claims in a single year. The total paid out in that year was a whopping $407,960,916.
Employers should take the safety of their workers very seriously and absolutely should put workplace safety regulations in place.
Some of the workplace safety regulations may include the methods to shut down certain equipment properly in order to prevent any accidents, engage safety features properly and so on. Disobeying these policies can result in major threats to lives.
#4. Compliance With the Local Laws
Many workplace policies are formulated for the organization to remain in compliance with the local laws. Disobeying these rules may lead to legal violations and the company would become liable. Employers should find out the local rules that should be followed and include these in the workplace policy. Employers should make their staff aware of these and ensure that they obey these.
Therefore, following the local laws in the workplace will eliminate any disparity in opinion that may arise. Additionally, it also helps in protecting the organization from legal actions.
#5. Provides Accountability
Accountability is one of the major reasons for following workplace rules. This can guarantee that there is no mistake on the employee’s part.
For example, in a banking transaction, if there is a misplacement of a certain amount of cash and the employee has followed the stipulated procedures, the fault can then be pinned down on system failure or any other problem. A proper investigation can then be conducted to identify the source of the problem and it can then be rectified. This will ensure that the employee is not held responsible wrongly.
#6. Improves Job Security
Many companies impose strict penalties for those who do not obey the workplace policies. For example, wrongdoing, misconduct or violation of company rules may result in losing the job altogether. In the unstable economy, job security is of utmost importance. Obeying the company policies will ensure that it does not contribute to the reasons that may get an employee fired.
Usually, one violation of a company policy may result in a reprimand. However, multiple reprimands may influence the decision of releasing an employee.
#7. Reinforces Company’s Credibility
When employees obey company rules and regulations, it projects a positive image of the organization among the clients. This helps in building credibility and adds value to the brand image. This can help in shaping the clients’ perception of a business.
Additionally, it also helps in enforcing a common method to interact with customers both, during digital or telephonic communication or when they visit the premises. The uniformity in the interactions enforced by obeying the rules will enable customers to know what to expect.
#8. Makes the Workplace Environment More Enjoyable
Various workplace rules help protect employees’ personal rights. In addition to the rules that govern that employee conduct, rules about the usage of breakrooms, designated smoking zones, improper language usage and so on help in maintaining a healthy environment in the workplace. Apart from that, disregarding parking policies, restroom policies, messing up the pantry and so on can diminish the interest to work for many employees, thus decreasing the productivity of the team.
Proper measures should be taken to ensure that all employees obey the workplace rules and policies. This can help in maintaining a balanced workplace and promote workplace wellness. It would also provide enough enthusiasm for workers to continue adding value to the organization.
Image: Notepad on workplace table and written KNOW THE RULES! concept