If you do not have clear rules and procedures, then it can be very frustrating for everyone. Take holidays for example. If everyone knows what the rules are then they can abide by them. However, the rules tend to change depending on who is in charge, who you ask or even who you are - then the system becomes unfair. Unfortunately, this is what often happens. Defining clear guidelines which will work for everyone in every possible scenario is incredibly difficult to set up.
So how do you ensure that your system will be fair to everyone?
Step 1: Understand what you need. This is the hardest thing to define. Yet if you know what you need then you can use that as the basis for your rules. So if you need a minimum of two people in the office at all times, say that.
Step 2: Fair rules. Write up a set of rules that are applicable to everyone.
Step 3: Testing and Evaluation. Look at the rules and see how they would have worked had you had them in place last year.
Step 4: Exceptions. There will always be exceptions to the rules, because you can’t think of everything, so have a “At manager’s discretion” clause.
Step 5: There are two sides to rules and procedures, checking to see that they work for the organisation, and checking that they work for the employee. When it comes to creating rules about holidays, think about ensuring that all of your employees can take all of their holidays in the year.
Step 6: Enforcement. When it comes to holidays, in practice, there are only two people who can manage and enforce the rules. You either have the ‘boss’ or the ‘temp’ do the administration. The ‘boss’ has to have the authority to implement any decisions they make. The ‘temp’ has no authority, so can only follow the rules. In this way everyone is treated equally and fairly.