7 policies to build a healthy and happy work environment

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Companies that offer short-term disability, create ergonomic workstations, and prioritize diversity can gain an edge in hiring and keeping talented workers.

The end of the year is the perfect time to review your employee policies. You should look for gaps in your existing collection of policies and check to see if anything needs an update. It's also a good time to make sure your employment policies match your company's mission and values.

More and more companies are realizing the need to make employee health and well-being a top priority, not an afterthought. Establishing an ergonomics policy and short-term disability guidelines will send a positive message to workers. Creating a workplace that values health and welfare can become a competitive advantage in the hiring process.

Setting clear expectations for employees is another way to build a transparent and trust-based environment. Policies that cover social media activity and appropriate use of company equipment will ensure that workers know what they can and can't do.

These seven popular policies from TechRepublic Premium are important guidelines all companies need to function smoothly and build positive and productive work environments.

Extended sick day policy

Life happens to your employees and in turn can impact your business. Every company needs a plan to cover personal emergencies that affect operations. This plan should spell out responsibilities for the employee and the company to ensure a fair arrangement for all involved parties.

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Short term disability policy

When a business offers short-term disability insurance for employees, it helps workers focus on recovering from an injury and not worry about paying bills. Employers who provide this service to employees can gain an edge in the hiring process and also have a better chance at retaining talented people during adverse circumstances.

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Diversity and inclusion policy

Prioritizing diversity and inclusion is another competitive advantage for companies.. This establishes a level playing field, brings together people with different backgrounds, perspectives, traditions, and ideas, and enriches company culture by ensuring fairness and tolerance. This helps build a more effective and collaborative workforce, which enables the business to run in a more progressive fashion and attract a broad array of talent. This policy sets guidelines for ensuring diversity and inclusion as well as appropriate recommendations and expectations.

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Ergonomic policy

Repetitive stress injuries are becoming more common among employees in all work settings. Companies should anticipate these problems and create a working environment that reduces the risk of these injuries. This clear and robust ergonomic policy establishes expectations for both the company and the worker.

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Social media policy

Every employee has an opportunity to post on many social media platforms, and companies benefit from having a distinct online presence. However, employees must use good judgment about what kind of information to post online and how to interact on social media. This social media policy sets guidelines for employees to follow in all online communications in relation to the company. 

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Streaming media policy

While many companies permit a reasonable amount of access to streaming content, this media can be a distraction for employees. This activity also can consume critical bandwidth, system resources, and device storage capacity. If an employee is watching streaming content on a mobile device, this can use up bandwidth allowances rapidly and result in hefty overcharges. This policy sets clear expectations for streaming media activity including when and how often this content can be consumed.

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Checklist: Employee termination

Firing an individual or laying off numerous employees is a stressful and unpleasant process. This checklist can make this difficult task easier. This resource has sections for the HR department, the manager, and  the IT and security departments to complete. There's also a checklist for collecting company property such as access badges and computer equipment.

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