By Tony Gallo
Do you have a written policy or procedure to address any of these scenarios?
- Your manager decides to come in to your store alone early on a Sunday morning to catch up on some paperwork. He is approached as he enters the store and forced to empty the safe of all the cash.
- You find out that a trusted employee has taken home a paraphernalia, clothing, and other items without getting approval from anyone. She said she was borrowing them and planned to put them back next week.
- A person grabs a gold chain from your employee and runs out the door. Your employee pulls out his handgun and shoots at the person running away. The bullet misses and strikes an innocent person in the parking lot.
As a business owner, it’s very important to have written policies and procedures to grow and protect your business.
If you take a look at any successful business, you will see they all have a “road map for success.” This road map was developed over time by identifying and correcting business mistakes. Although this road map is understood by the owners or senior members of management, it’s very important that it is communicated to all employees as well. Without a clear understanding by each employee of what is expected, it will be very difficult to successfully manage and grow your business.
A comprehensive policy and procedure manual should clearly detail your rules, your regulations, and procedures on how things should be done. This written document will clarify employee expectations about your business polices, while communicating standards of action and behavior.
Your manual can also protect your company from possible legal action and exposure to acts not condoned by the owner. It gives your employees the information needed to support management and to do their jobs.
Your policy manual should be divided into sections covering at least the following areas:
- Company standards
- Working conditions
- Work expectations
- Wages and benefits
- Performance reviews
- Termination procedures
It should be as detailed as possible, so it can be used as a training manual for new employees as well as a resource manual for existing employees. Include items such as loaning guidelines, merchandise sales, gold and diamond testing, firearms usage, merchandise borrowing, etc.
If you have never written a policy or procedure manual, you may want to get professional help from a consultant who is knowledgeable about best industry practices and specializes in writing policy and procedure manuals.
A well-planned, maintained policy and procedure manual will greatly facilitate the growth of your business. This manual is always a wise investment in your future and should be used as a foundation on which to build and grow your business.