Developing Successful HR Policies
Building an effective human resource department has to do with building a culture where employees are valued and treated fairly. To do that, it’s important for organisations to take policy development seriously as these promote consistency and help create a more positive company culture. HR policies are necessary because they set in place different rules and standards by which organisations can work more smoothly.b
The Purpose of Developing HR Policies
Many organisations do not understand the purpose behind developing their own practices as they see them as nothing more than a way to comply with the law, which they can do without having to go the extra mile. But, HR policies are more than just a way to comply with the law and protect organisations from lawsuits; they provide organisations with a framework to design strategies to handle its workforce. They outline a company’s obligations towards its employees and the standards and behaviour that the organisation needs to maintain, while they also include the paperwork that is required to implement each policy.
Areas Where HR Policies Are Necessary
- Working Conditions
- Compensation and Benefits
- Employee Relations
- Employee Placement
- Health and Safety
- Workplace Diversity
- Training and Development
- Sick Leave
- Maternity, Parental and Adoption Leave
- Performance Management
- Disciplinary Action
- Discrimination and Harassment
Making Your HR Policies More Effective
As HR policies are the guidelines that organisations adopt to manage their employees, it’s important to take great care that they are implemented correctly. The more effective these practices are, the better the results they’ll yield. Some of the most successful companies on the planet invest in their HR policies as they see them as a way to build up their employer brand and attract top talent, which in turn can help them get a leg up on the competition.
Google, for example, is considered one of the top employers out there exactly because their policies are employee-oriented; from extended leave for new parents, to offering new parents a bonus to help with the expenses of a new-born, Google invests in policies that help their employees make the most of their lives.
Target Company Values
Organisations represent certain values, and it’s important for company practices to reflect them. This helps companies boost their brand by increasing client trust and loyalty, while it also helps bring in fresh talent.
Make Them Specific and Clear
The key to ensuring that the policies you’ve set up are followed is to ensure that they are clear and specific enough to not leave room for doubt. Having a clearly spelled-out course of action for a specific situation can help employees feel that they are treated fairly and equally.
Making your HR policies specific and clear can also make them more consistent which is crucial for large organisations as it not only saves time, but it also helps avoid tension.
Comply With the Law and Regulations
It’s important to remember that your company operates within a government-approved framework and as such, it is monitored which means that it needs to comply with the existing legislation. Taking regulations into consideration when developing policies will help companies avoid potential legal problems and ensure quality.
Consult With Senior Management
As you’ll probably need approval from senior management before you proceed with the policy, consider consulting them before the policy is written down. This will help ensure that your efforts do not go to waste, while any feedback they have will help you create a better procedure.
Draft the Policy
As the policy will address employees it’s important to make the language as straightforward as possible. Avoid legal speech and jargon as it’s not necessary, and make sure that the wording is unbiased. It’s also advisable to make the wording as flexible as possible and to allow for exceptions by using terms such as ‘generally’, ‘usually’, ‘typically’ etc.