Lawyers love to tell you about all the things you need to do. HR professionals are experts in compliance. Employee handbooks are mind-numbing tomes of legal drivel.
To most of us, the word "policy" is on par with "taxes" and "contracts" as one of the lowest expressions of business tedium. To a wise few, however, the word "policy" signifies opportunity.
A policy is a rule that governs your business. What kind of business do you want it to be? Sure, there are laws out there. We need to adhere to them. But policies can help to do more than define the requirements for jury duty and worker's comp. They can help define your culture.
The clever few who have realized this are reaping gains. Their policies are recruiting tools. They increase retention. They improve performance.
You know better than I the specific company culture you are striving to maintain. You'll likely know better what specific policies would work for your organization. But the following four categories of corporate guidelines illustrate how great companies are thinking differently about using policy to inspire better workplaces and better results.