Does the phrase ‘human resources policies and procedures’ make you groan because you realise your company lacks just that?  Has business been so good that you are chasing logistics, customer care, stock levels, and just don’t have time for these policies and procedures?

These are important as they underpin how human resource issues will be handled. They also tell your employees what your brand’s values are and how you expect them to behave and perform. They also set out the implications of transgressing the policy rules.

Workplace policies include a statement of purpose as well as some guidelines on how to achieve that purpose. They also explain standard operating procedures.

You do not need to have 100’s of policies. For some processes an S.O.P. is sufficient. Our manual on H.R. Procedures and Policies will guide you through the different requirements, simplifying the whole process for you. Download it here.

What Do You Gain From A Workplace Policy?

It will be easier to achieve standard values across the organisation; it will ensure compliance with myriad legislation and will show employees (or investors) that your business is efficient and professional.

Decision making will be more comfortable, and operational procedures will be easier for staff to learn or to step into when someone is off ill.

You will definitely gain legal strength for labour disputes, will avoid lengthy disagreements over miscommunications and give employees confidence in their chosen actions.

Workplace policies will also feed into business planning, performance assessments, accountability parameters and job descriptions.

How To Develop HR Procedures and Policies

Management needs to set sufficient time aside to develop and assess the policies required. Once a final draft is created, you need to involve your employees. This is a helpful step as it often shows up any unintentional policy conflicts or omissions. It also helps the staff gain a more in-depth insight into the company’s mission.

It is important that the wording is precise and doesn’t contain clumsy jargon.

It must simply say:

  • What is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour, including measurables? E.g. blood alcohol levels.
  • What does a calendar month mean to the company?
  • What to do when applying for sick leave? E.g. a sick emoji is insufficient.
  • Who does XYZ policy apply to? E.g. full-time employees or part-time contractors.
  • What happens if transgressions occur?
  • What are the company values relating to emails, social media or behaviour at a company event?

The Next Steps

Now that the policies have been drafted and reviewed with staff input, they can be published internally. All employees must have access to them: casual, part-time or salaried employees. If anyone is on leave at the time of publication, they should receive them via the agreed holiday communication channel.

The original policy must be in English but consider translating the guidelines into the appropriate languages for employees whose first language is not English. The original policy must be stated as the lead document with the translated one being a guide.

How To Increase Compliance

You can use training or town hall events to increase staff knowledge of these policies and should have an annual reminder session with informal references to them in staff meetings regularly.

The Launch

The start date of the policies must be known by all employees, whether on leave or at work.

Breaches of policy should be addressed quickly, ethically and legally.  See our blog on disciplinary and termination processes.

After launch set a diarised date to review the policies to make sure they are still aligned to legislative requirements as well as the structure of your business. Big changes should follow the new policies process from scratch.

Which Policies Are Needed?

Here are some examples of workplace policies but by no means is it an exhaustive list:

  1. code of conduct
  2. recruitment policy
  3. internet and email policy
  4. mobile phone and personal laptop policy
  5. non-smoking policy
  6. drug and alcohol policy
  7. health and safety policy
  8. anti-discrimination and harassment policy
  9. grievance handling policy
  10. discipline and termination policy
  11. social media including usage of photographs taken at work
  12. training policy

There is no perfect list, but this is a good start. Our H.R. Procedures and Policies manual  will save you lots of time whilst providing solid guidance on how to set these up.

Alternatively, contact Fresh HR Insights for our hands-on involvement in setting up the processes for you or to assist revising existing ones. Our services start from the info only to DIY to the ultimate bespoke packages – something for every business.