Date: 2011 Jun 20
An HR policy document provides the necessary framework to effectively manage people in any organisation. HR policies and procedures are an essential part of an organisation and provide formal statements of ‘the rules’ that define how an organisation operates on a day to day basis with respect to its people. A comprehensive HR policy document covers all aspects of an employment life cycle from attraction and recruitment through to exiting and incorporates all contractual and non contractual policies. In addition, a formal HR policy document helps to ensure an organisation is compliant with the applicable legal and mandatory employment regulations.
An HR policy also helps an organisation to:
- Manage all employees in a fair and consistent manner
- Set and manage employee expectations
- Communicate an organisations goals and values
- Ensure policies are aligned to legal requirements and best practice
- Create a collaborative working environment
- Provide know how on how to apply policies across all levels of an organisation
Implementing New Policies and Revising Policies
Updating, revising or implementing new policies can have a huge impact on the culture of an organisation. Polices are sometimes used to drive change and therefore it is important to pay particular attention to the implementation process. Successful implementation is dependent on effective communication.
Key Tips on Policy Implementation
Communicating HR policies and procedures across all levels of an organisation is fundamental to the effectiveness of its implementation. Policies can be communicated in a number of ways depending on an organisation’s size, operations and its existing communication channels.
It is considered best practice that a copy of the HR policy document is available to all employees. A copy of the HR policy document can be made available through a Company’s intranet or obtained from the manager and/or the HR department.
Some suggestions on how to launch or communicate an HR policy include:
- Workshops and/or brief communication sessions
- Team meetings
- Email, memo, bulletin or notice board
- At the start of employment and/or during employee induction programmes
- Employee handbooks
Role of Managers
It is the role of all managers across the organisation to put written policies and procedures into practice.
Managers are primarily responsible for ensuring the consistent application of policies so that all employees are managed in a fair and consistent manner. It is also important for Managers to support employees in understanding and interpreting policies correctly.
Management of HR Policies
Managing and maintaining HR policies is usually the responsibility of the HR department. Effective management of policies will include ensuring the organisation’s policies are in compliance with legal and mandatory requirements and aligned to best practice. Managing and maintaining policies includes updates or amendments (i.e. changes, deletions or revisions) and resolving any issues arising out of the interpretation of any of the policies.
Supporting forms and templates
It is recommended that an HR policy document is accompanied with supporting forms and templates. These can be used to implement policies and help to ensure end to end processes are followed and that necessary information is documented and/or recorded. It is important that forms and templates are made easily available to all employees and can be manual or automated depending on systems availability.
Azra Abdulla, PeopleFirst Consultant