4 Tips For Writing New HR Policies
There’s a reason why every organization needs a functioning HR department. Managing employee interactions, tracking employee data and performance, and maintaining compliance with employment law are just a few examples of the many responsibilities that fall under the HR umbrella. And as any HR professional knows, crafting effective policy for all these responsibilities is one of the most important—and challenging—aspects of the job. After all, an organization’s policies set the tone for how employees are expected to behave and how the organization will function as a whole.
With that in mind, here are four tips to keep in mind when writing new HR policies.
Use Simple Language
Complicated language does not equal good policy. In fact, the opposite is often true—the more complex the policy, the more difficult it is for employees to understand and follow.
When writing policy, therefore, it’s important to use clear and concise language. Get rid of any jargon or niche terms that only certain employees will understand. Also, avoid long, run-on sentences.
For example, rather than writing “Strict adherence to the organization’s social media policy is expected with regard to potentially controversial posts,” try something like “Employees should not post anything on social media that could reflect negatively on the organization.”
Explain the Reasoning Behind Policies
Employees are more likely to follow a policy if they understand why it exists in the first place. So when crafting a new policy, make sure to include an explanation of the reasoning behind it.
This is especially important for policies that could be seen as restrictive or inconvenient. For example, if you’re instituting a new dress code that is more formal than the previous one, explain why this change is being made. Is it to promote a more professional image? To foster a sense of unity among employees?
Whatever the reason, make sure it’s clear.
Include Consequences for Non-Compliance
As with any rule, there need to be consequences for breaking it. Otherwise, what’s to stop employees from disregarding the policy?
When writing a new policy, therefore, be sure to include what will happen if an employee doesn’t comply. Will they face a warning? Suspension? Termination? Legal action?
The more specific you can be, the better.
Get Buy-In from Management
Last but not least, it’s important to get buy-in from management before rolling out any new policy. After all, they’re the ones footing the bill for the whole process- from paying for WIFI to new analytics software.
So once you’ve drafted a new policy, run it by your boss or another senior leader in the organization. Get their feedback and make any necessary revisions. Only once they’re on board should you move forward with implementing the new policy.
Crafting effective policy is essential to the success of any organization. By following these four tips, you can ensure that new policies are clear, concise, and enforceable—and that they help the organization run smoothly.