Policies make it easier for staff to intervene in problem situations without offending or being offended by the customer. They also can reduce liability in the event of an injury related to the activities of the staff or business.
Policies can decrease business costs by eliminating waste or duplicative efforts. Insurance and legal costs can be minimized by reducing the number of claims fielded by either employees or customers. A safer, more secure and comfortable work environment can both reduce staff turnover and increase customer return rate. Employee performance can be better evaluated and improved incentive-based compensation systems can be implemented.
Policies are created in various ways. One of the most common is in response to a situation resulting in some form of loss or liability. New governmental rules or regulations can force the development of new policies, as can recent court decisions expanding potential liability.
One of the best ways to develop policies is to continually monitor your business, assess changes in customer demands or community standards, and be aware of proposed and pending legislation. Anticipating trends, and creating subsequent policies is a sure way to gain more commitment from staff and customers to your changes. Including all concerned parties in policy development is therefore critical to effective implementation and follow-up.
It is not possible to provide sample policies for each type of establishment utilizing this handbook. However, there are certain elements of a policy or training that can be followed to allow staff to more easily understand the policies. The following are recommended as essential elements of an effective policy.
WHO is supposed to do it? Who is the person responsible for carrying out a specific action?
WHAT is to be done? What are the specific actions to be taken?
WHEN is it to be done? Under what circumstances? Specific days? Times? In response to specific customer behavior?
WHERE can help be obtained? Who is the supervisor to report to or get more information from?
WHY is it necessary? What is the purpose of the policy? To increase sales; give better service; reduce liability; because it is the law; to fulfill the organization mission; reduce costs? Why should the action be performed?
HOW is the person compensated? How does the performing of the action benefit? Will it increase sales and tip income? Will it reduce personal liability? If the task is done properly, will it increase compensation to the employee? Are they penalized for not performing the task?