What is a Staff Policy?

G. Wiesen

A staff policy is, generally, the rules and guidelines established by a business for employees to follow while at the workplace. This policy is often broken down into several different categories including how employees can interact while at work, dress codes, and performance expectations. Depending on the business, there may be different levels of policies for employees at different levels, such as those in management. A staff policy is common in many different types of workplace, from retail stores and universities to call centers, hospitals and government jobs.

A dress code can be part of a staff policy.
A dress code can be part of a staff policy.

When hired by a new company, the staff policy is typically one of the first things a person will receive regarding the workplace and what is expected of him or her. It will usually cover a wide range of acceptable behaviors and activities, as well as those actions that can call for punitive measures by the business, including termination of employment. Without a staff policy, employees could claim that unacceptable behavior was never properly explained to them, and taking action against unreliable or irresponsible employees could be difficult.

A staff policy is common in many different work environments, including call centers.
A staff policy is common in many different work environments, including call centers.

Common subjects covered by the staff policy of a business include dress codes, acceptable behaviors, restrictions on employee relationships, and tardiness policies. Most businesses will set a dress code so employees understand how they are expected to appear. Behavior and employee conduct set by a staff policy will typically include not only how employees are expected to behave while at work, but also set limitations on relationships outside of work. This often includes discouraging romantic or sexual relationships between coworkers, especially between members of management and lower level employees.

While this may seem somewhat intrusive by a business, this type of staff policy is often established to protect a business from lawsuits or inappropriate conduct among employees. Many businesses have regulations regarding tardiness, both in arrival at work and the length of breaks taken. These policies often coincide with local laws regarding employee treatment and time requirements for breaks or meals.

A staff policy is typically a part of just about any kind of business, since employees at every level should know what is expected of them by a company. Part-time employees at a local restaurant are just as likely to have strict staff policies as 20-year officers of major corporations. While these policies may differ among various professions, and will often be tailored to the nature of a business, the general structure and purpose of such policies are often the same.

Staff policies setup rules regarding work breaks.
Staff policies setup rules regarding work breaks.

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