When is it acceptable for an employee to use a cell phone at work? How do you create a cell phone policy that is clear and effective? Read on to find out.
It’s safe to say that most of us are guilty of being glued to our phones, and at times, even during work hours. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as our cell phones can be critical tools in helping us be productive and stay connected, there is a line between “just checking my phone” and being in a Facebook rabbit hole all day.
As a small business owner, it can be especially frustrating seeing your employees on their phones as you can visually see your resources being wasted. Implementing a cell phone policy is a great way to combat this, but doing so takes a bit of finesse. Here’s how you can do it successfully.
Create a productive culture first
Your biggest ally in avoiding excessive cell phone use is to encourage a workplace culture that values and praises productivity.
Right from onboarding, communicate to employees the value of productivity. You can do this by having a rewards programs for those that go above and beyond, offer praise where deserved, and continually empowering your employees by letting them know how essential they are to your team.
Understand you can’t stop all of it
Again, it might be frustrating to see an employee checking their cell phone, because that means you’re paying for the time that they could be spending being productive.
A phone connects employees to their personal lives, which is important. Just because they’re at work, doesn’t mean all communication to their outside world should be severed. Important things come up where it’s vital they be kept in the know, such as with family emergencies, doctors’ calls, and checking in with children after school.
There is, however, a difference between taking a few minutes to check messages and wasting time on apps. Decide where you want to draw the line before creating any sort of policy.
Refer to other policies
If you’ve created a productive culture and you’re ready to write a policy that won’t create a rebellion, you don’t have to re-invent the wheel when it actually comes to writing it. There are countless resources you can consult online — including templates — that can help you create the policy that’s right for you. Simply find one best suited for your business and make it your own.
Distribute your policy
Distributing your policy can be as easy as emailing it, or posting it in employee break areas where it can easily be seen. You can also pass it out at the next employee meeting so as to address any questions you might be met with. Just make sure you’re never singling anyone out and that you provide clear reasons as to why you’re implementing a policy.
At the end of the day, no one knows your employees, your business, and your culture better than you. If excessive cell-phone usage isn’t an issue, then there’s no need to post a policy. If it is an issue, construct an effective policy and utilize your knowledge of the business and your leadership and management skills to implement it effectively.