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Policies, Procedures & SafeguardsDecember 8, 2014
In the lead up to the holiday season many businesses start planning corporate gifts for partners and clients. Some will also have planned Christmas bonuses for staff. Gifts and bonuses can be great relationship building tools. However, are you aware you may be at risk of conflict of interest, discrimination or misconduct without the right policies in place?
A good gift policy will be able to demonstrate your business’s commitment to impartial treatment of everyone you do business with. There is a risk that the act of giving and receiving gifts may affect your employee’s duties or at its very worst, lead to misconduct. The aim of this policy is to reduce this risk.
A gift policy can include:
Another option that you may consider is a no-gift policy. The advantage of a no-gift policy is that any grey areas are removed when it comes to deciding what’s appropriate in terms of giving and receiving gifts. Consider whether this would be appropriate in your business.
Bonus and reward systems come in many shapes and sizes. Often the most difficult part is deciding how they are administered. The main questions that are asked around bonuses are:
How do you calculate which employees are deserving and those who aren’t?
Should it be an entitlement or a discretionary reward?
If it’s up to the employees, most will tell you that a Christmas/annual bonus is their right. Businesses need to nip this sense of entitlement in the bud and use bonus schemes as a motivational tool to drive high performance from employees
Best practices around bonuses include:
As with any policies, getting these drafted is only the start. Staff training is crucial in ensuring that employees are aware of these policies. A signed acknowledgement from staff on these policies is helpful in case any issues arise.
Policies and guidelines can be the most important gift you can give to yourself: by reducing your staff risk, you can reduce the risk to your business.