When it comes to managing employees, having a strict set of department specific training and employee handbooks will help create workforce equality. These guidelines will need to be revised at a minimum on a yearly basis to be able to keep up with the changing work environment. Examples that would require change would be when labor laws or other regulatory guidelines are updated. There is also a very important aspect tied to your safety program by having what you want done written in black and white.
If your company does not currently have a handbook in place, I suggest you change that immediately. With labor laws ever changing and other strict guidelines employers must deal with, it would be a smart idea to consult an attorney in assisting and overlooking your handbook drafts. Your handbook must be a direct reflection of the guidelines and ethics of the company. Do not be afraid to ask fellow colleagues for a copy of theirs and use for formatting purposes only. You could even search the Internet for examples of current employee handbooks.
Once again, we can all agree no matter your experience level, we all learn something new every day in this industry. This is another reason for the yearly audit of your department handbooks.
These handbooks can become quite lengthy. It is very important for the protection of the employee and sometimes the employer that every aspect of the waste industry environment is touched upon. First and foremost, position specific manuals need to be created as to what is expected from on the job performance. Create a set of training guidelines that a rookie can refer to, as can the veteran in your company. Make it known the policies and beliefs that the company believes in and what will not be tolerated in the workplace. Topics discussing equal opportunity employment, zero tolerance drug policy and zero tolerance harassment policy, are a few examples that set the groundwork and let new employees know they are entering a strictly run business there to serve the people safely, not a paid babysitting service.
Having a strict set of policies and procedures will also make the manager’s job easy. There will be no grey areas. It will be easy for the manager to enforce disciplinary action, because upon hire each employee was given a set of guidelines to follow. If those guidelines were spelled out correctly, there should be no confusion to the disciplinary action. Make sure to document everything, and document with a witness in a private HR-related environment.
Stick to Your Guidelines
It is very important to stick to your guidelines when managing. It is not a good business practice to show judgment when incidents requiring discipline arise. If your policy regarding tardiness, for example, has consequences for 1st, 2nd and 3rd time offenders, make sure the disciplinary action is equal across the board. Not only does this show credibility for the company, but it also promotes and creates an area of responsibility in the workforce. Employees will know that in order to be a part of a great company they will need to do their part as well. | WA
John Paglia, III is a 4th generation garbage man. Before he climbed the ranks to become Florida Express Environmental’s General Manager, he had a successful career in college and professional athletics. John has been around the garbage industry since his car seat days. Currently, John is focused on growing his company and offering the highest level of customer service and prolonging the world we live in today. John wakes up every day knowing the impact professional haulers have on their community is far greater than most realize. He can be reached at (352) 629-4349, e-mail John3@ floridaexpress.us or visit www.floridaexpress.us.