three tips to avoid employment practices issues
The most common risk businesses face are employment practice issues. Research found that businesses are five times more likely to be sued over employee-related issues than for any other issue. With a rapidly evolving workforce, let’s discuss the three strategies businesses can effectively implement to avoid running into any employment practice issues.
The age-old saying “communication is key” has stuck around for a reason- because it’s true. Effective communication helps keep businesses running smoothly and helps teams feel engaged, and included.
If your business doesn’t communicate upcoming changes to the business model or structure, it may build distrust among your workforce. People don’t like change, especially in the workplace. Regardless of the reasons why change is met with resistance, when your business makes decisions, communicate those changes to your teams quickly and clearly.
Insurance journal says it best, “Policies and procedures that aren’t communicated don’t exist.”
Communicate company policies clearly and often to your entire team. As policies change, let your entire business know:
- What changes you are implementing
- The expectations of each employee
- The expectations of the business
- Precautions for violation of new changes
- The duration of the changes (i.e. until further notice, permanently, for two months, etc.)
As your leadership implements new business policies, continue communicating each step throughout your business. While you, as a business owner, are aware of conversations surrounding changes, this is still new to your workforce.
Tell your teams when policies are begin considered, when they are changed, and continue talking about the change well after its implementation. The goal here is to lead with transparency to avoid confused and discontented employees.
What are the benefits of clear, consistent communication? It encourages team buy-in, increases productivity, boosts employee engagement and belonging, reduces conflict, and increases retention.
Use Asana’s tips on effective communication in the workplace:
- Know when and how to best communicate change
- Stick to the facts
- Prioritize collaboration 2. Consistency
Change can be a challenge in and of itself. Consistent communication of the changes can help the team feel engaged and excited about what’s to come. The more your team hears about upcoming changes, new requirements, and expectations, the easier it is for your team to execute on them.
Consistency also means that your business makes decisions based on a specific criteria across the organization, typically this criteria includes:
- What’s best for the team
- What’s best for the business
- What’s best for the customers
Finally, understand that implementing change in your business requires compassion. Your team is made up of individuals who are impacted by the new decisions you make.
Remember that required changes may require individual evaluation to consider include:
Not every request for exemption can be granted, but it’s important to review requests and allow the opportunity for discussion.
A final note
Businesses that support their workforce through communication, consistency, and compassion set themselves up for success. These change management strategies also help mitigate the risk of employment practice issues.
When it comes to protecting your company from employee-related claims, an employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) policy is essential. This policy covers the costs if an employee claims wrongful action during their employment. Learn more about EPLI and why your business may need it in our article here.