As a business owner, you are responsible for establishing your company’s culture. You will want to make sure it is a good place to work, and that you take every possible step – within reason – to keep your employees satisfied. Even at businesses with good reputations, employee disputes are a real risk and can lead to legal action. Yet, you can prevent these outcomes by running your business in a straightforward, nondiscriminatory and respectful manner.
Establish and follow business policies
Clear, commonsense policies can protect your business against disgruntled employees. Most businesses have codes of conduct in place, as well as rules for hiring, termination, promotion and discipline. By having your employees learn these policies upon starting – whether through training or in a guidebook – you will leave no ambiguity about your expectations. And by taking this straightforward approach, you will have a strong defense if your employees try to dispute your policies with you.
Keep in mind that you must enforce your business’ policies with equality. Failing to apply them to certain employees may appear as if you are playing favorites. By holding all your employees to the same standards, you can keep potential disputes at bay.
You must do your best to leave your implicit biases at the door when running your business. Whether communicating with your employees or conducting a job interview, you must make sure you do not discriminate against the individual you are interacting with. Federal Equal Employment Opportunity laws protect certain groups against workplace discrimination, as does the Kentucky Civil Rights Act. By taking adverse actions against an employee or applicant because of their status, your business could face penalties – if reported – under these laws.
Respect your employees
To keep your business going, you must meet your bottom line. Yet, your profits cannot come at the expense of employee morale. By respecting your employees and recognizing their accomplishments, they may feel more inclined to contribute their talents to your business goals. Furthermore, if your employees feel like you treat them well, they are less likely – and have little reason – to engage in disputes or take legal action that could impact your business.