Handbook Tip #4: Ensure that everyone is weighed using the same scale.

Two of the most common claims that employees make is ignorance regarding policy or an unfair application of procedure. You can combat these claims by ensuring that everyone on staff understands what your policies are and that they are distributed equally.  (See Tip Two in our series for more on policy distribution)

Regardless of age, race, gender, position or level of experience, the policies in the handbook should be applied and discipline applied equally to every single employee. You can’t terminate one employee for consistently breaking policy that a handful of people ignore. (Example, Suzie is written up for using her work email to send personal messages, but Greg and Julie aren’t.) Doing so could cost the company thousands of dollars in painful legal claims.

In addition, make sure that you enact proper protocol for rule-breakers. You’re not going to terminate someone for a small infraction, but you do need to have a policy in place for disciplinary action. While it might make for a good movie or episode of “The Office,” it’s never a good idea to publicly shame an employee for their behavior; you should make sure that people understand the consequences to negative actions. Employees will tell other employees about their experience, and word-of-mouth testimony will help to deter further violations.

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