A Representative List of Employee Work Policies

Every hospitality operation will have a number of employee work policies to guide employee behavior and performance.  While these may vary significantly from property to property, here is a representative list of topics to cover:

  • Supervisors – an explanation of the role of supervisors in the organization and that an employee’s supervisor is their first point of contact for direction, issues, or concerns.
  • Attitude – covers the importance of an employee’s attitude to their own success as well as the organization’s.
  • Punctuality – the absolute importance of being at work on time and what steps to take if an employee will be unavoidably late.
  • Sickness – spells out what an employee must do when calling out sick.
  • Absences – stresses the importance of being at work when scheduled.
  • employee-handbook-2Notification – goes over the requirements to notify the establishment if an employee is unable to meet their schedule or calls out sick.
  • Inclement Weather – provides specific guidance as to what employees should do during periods of extreme weather such as snow and ice storms, hurricanes, and severe thunderstorms and flooding.
  • Time Clock & Timesheets – explains all the details of punching in and out for work or completing time sheets for exempt employees.  Also, provides guidance on what to do in case of a “mis-punch.”
  • Appearance & Attire – reviews the organization’s policies and standards for appearance and dress, including type of shoes to be worn.
  • Uniforms – explains the requirements and standards for any positions requiring the wearing of uniforms.
  • Nametags – explains requirement to wear identifying nametags, as well as providing guidance for how to properly wear them.
  • Grooming & Hygiene – explains the organization’s standards for these to include any guidance for acceptable makeup; jewelry; hairstyles and color; fingernail cleanliness, color, and length; as well as visible body art and piercings.
  • Sanitation Requirements – such as constant hand washing is a must, particularly for food service employee.   Also to take particular care to avoid fussing with face or hair, nail or cuticle biting, careless sneezing or coughing, combing hair and scratching in any form.
  • Disclaimer Statement for Personal Grooming – “while it is not possible to establish absolute standards of personal grooming, the final determination of an employee’s suitability for work rests with management.”
  • Trash/Litter – stresses the importance of keeping the facilities neat and clean.
  • Telephone Use – covers the issues of telephone and cell phone use while working.
  • Loitering – gives guidance regarding unnecessary loitering around work premises before or after work.
  • Visitors – explains the inappropriateness of family and friends visiting the establishment except in case of emergencies.
  • Lost & Found – explains the requirements of lost and found policies and procedures.
  • Removing Items from Premises – forbids the removal of any items from the premises to include all food and beverage items, leftovers of any sort, and supplies and materials.
  • Tobacco Use – explains the policy on smoking or the use of other tobacco products on premises.
  • Personal Habits – describes personal habits, such as eating, drinking, chewing gum or breath mints, smoking, conversing with fellow employees and taking breaks that detract from the organization’s focus on service and provides guidance on rest and meal breaks.
  • Solicitation/Distribution – explains the policy against solicitation and distribution of materials to customers/guests/members or other employees on premises.
  • Personal Electronic Equipment – describes how radios, TVs, CD players, iPods, boom boxes, cellular phones, and other personal electronic equipment detract from the organization’s dedication to service.
  • Parking of Personal Transportation – explains the location of all employee parking areas and why the close-in parking is reserved for customers/guests/members.
  • Employee Entrance(s) – describes which entrances are to be used by employees.
  • Fire Safety Systems – acquaints employees with the basic function and location of fire extinguishers and alarm stations and the need to familiarize themselves with the operation of these life-saving systems in advance of any need.
  • Use of Facilities – explains that the facilities are for the exclusive use of customers/guests/members except when specifically authorized by the General Manager.
  • Employee Rest Rooms, Locker Room, Lunchroom, and Break Areas – explains the location and describes the requirement to use employee facilities.
  • Protection of Property & Assets – explains the special responsibility of employees to care for the property and assets of the organization.
  • Taking the Initiative – encourages employees to take the initiative to correct problems if something is improperly stored, in need of repair, out of place or missing, or let a supervisor know if necessary.
  • Problems & Grievances – provides guidance to employees on options available to them to make management aware of concerns and issues.  Explains that under no circumstances at any time should complaints be voiced to customers/guests/members.
  • Open Door Policy – explains the policy and requirements of management availability for employee opinions, comments, complaints or other concerns about the place of employment.
  • Suggestions – explains that employee suggestions to improve any aspect of the operation are encouraged and always welcomed; and to please discuss any suggestions with the appropriate supervisor.

Work policies should be spelled out in both the Employee Handbook and Managers Handbook so that all managers, supervisors, and employees are fully aware of and support these essential policies of a professionally-run hospitality operation.

Thanks and have a great day!

Ed Rehkopf

This weekly blog comments on and discusses the hospitality industry and its challenges. From time to time, we will feature guest bloggers – those managers and industry experts who have something of interest to say to all of us. We also welcome feedback and comment upon the blog, hoping that it will become a useful sounding board for what’s on the minds of hardworking hospitality managers throughout the country and around the world.

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