The use of a personal cell phone while at work may present a hazard or distraction to the user and/or co-employees. This policy is meant to ensure that cell phone use while at work is both safe and does not disrupt business operations. Unless otherwise authorized, employees may only use personal cell phones for an emergency.
The company strives to select employees who are well suited for the positions they fill. In nearly every case, our selection process involves a careful review of the requirements of an available position and the qualifications of the individual applicants. All non-employee applicants are required to complete a job application and, where required, submit a resume. Likewise, depending on the position available, employees will be asked to interview with the individuals who will be involved in the selection process. References will be checked. Moreover, when necessary or required, the company will also conduct employee background checks (including criminal record checks), credit investigations (with proper employee authorization), and driver’s license checks.
Employee applicants are required to complete an in-house application if they are interested in an available position. The company encourages employees to apply for any position in which they are interested and qualified.
Commentary (if any): While selection process policies appear in many employee manuals, every employer should consider carefully whether to include such a policy in its manual. Why include a selection policy in an employee manual when the employee has already been selected?
Clearly, a strict selection policy should not appear in a manual if an employer has a flexible approach to recruitment and hiring. Selection policies will haunt employers who do not abide strictly by the terms of their policy. Even where employers follow their selection process religiously, they should ensure that the policy contains language allowing for discretion and exceptions.
Reference checks are encouraged, but an employer should follow a uniform practice when conducting reference checks. Employers must be sensitive to the fact that liability can arise from the manner in which they conduct their reference and background checks. Authorization is required for credit and criminal background checks and information must be provided to employees who are not selected as a result of the credit check. Some states have enacted anti-discrimination statutes regarding non-selection of employees who have criminal records.
Moreover, some employers are subject to statutory or regulatory requirements regarding background checks and such checks must be conducted in conformity with all applicable laws and regulations. Other employers, who are not subject to such requirements, also must conduct checks in a manner so as to avoid liability for negligent hiring or defamation claims. Employers should contact their labor and employment counsel regarding their reference and credit check practices.
Every employee is expected to act in a professional, responsible, and courteous manner at all times. Clearly, such behavior fosters a positive and productive working environment. Conversely, inappropriate or unprofessional behavior is disruptive and unproductive. Moreover, inappropriate conduct is cause for discipline, up to and including immediate termination.
Of course, in the context of this manual, it is impossible for the company to identify all standards of conduct that are unacceptable. Again, the company demands that employees act in a professional and courteous manner. We expect that employees will use common sense and good judgment in achieving this goal. However, the company’s judgment, and not that of any individual employee, is the benchmark for what is acceptable and what is not. An employee’s conduct is not made acceptable solely because the employee believes it to be. Nor may an employee excuse his or her conduct because this manual does not specifically prohibit the objectionable conduct. The company expects that employees recognize that inappropriate conduct, from rudeness to theft, is unacceptable. The decision as to what is inappropriate is left in the company’s hands and sole discretion.
All employees at one time or another will receive or be exposed to personal, privileged and/or confidential information. That information may concern other employees, the company’s operations, recipes, customer lists, company affairs, product development, trade secrets, business models or other organizations with whom we do business. You are obligated to ensure that this information remains confidential and is not disclosed. This is true regardless of whether you are actively employed, on leave or your employment with the company ends (for any reason). Employees who disclose such sensitive information will be disciplined, up to and including immediate termination or legal action.
In addition, employees are not permitted to photograph, record, photocopy, or otherwise preserve company forms, lists or other materials belonging to the company without prior authorization. This is especially critical for items that were prepared or saved for an employee’s own or someone else’s current or future use.
As an employee of Widget, Inc., we expect no less than one hundred percent of your loyalty, effort and responsibility to help us achieve Company objectives. Widget, Inc. has a long standing reputation as a fair and equitable business partner. We have built relationships over the years that have helped us get through some of the most difficult economic times.
Our Company is a reflection of the parts that make up the whole. We acknowledge our past and present employees for choosing to do more than their share and always pitching in to help out co-workers whenever and wherever possible. We feel our reputation as a choice employer is reinforced by the daily actions of those people who help the Company meet their objectives. Occasionally, when problems do arise, we make it a point to solve them professionally and confidentially in order to assure all parties’ points have been heard.
Commentary (if any): An Expectation section is intended to give a flavor of the daily actions found at the worksite. It is critical this is accurate or it could serve as a foundation for other discrepancies to take hold- regardless of whether these are real or imagined at the workplace. This section also helps a young organization build a sense of workplace culture.
It may be difficult to capture the flavor of all industries, however the challenge would help set the stage for identifying the types of individuals you need to have working for you. Ask yourself what a visitor to the company would see or hear if they were present on the warehouse floor, in the lunch room or driving home with an employee.
If you don’t like what you hear, this is where your issues need to be addressed and supported with actions in the workplace – not words. Be proud to demand expectations of yourself and your employees.