Why Have Human Resources Policies?
The New To HR team received a variety of questions by email why companies develop policies and if it is really applicable nowadays…
Well, companies develop policies to help staff and management teams run the organisation.
The consistent use and interpretation of policies, in an even-handed and fair manner, reduces management concern about legal issues becoming legal problems.
Policies are a framework for consistency and fairness.
They define management standards for making decisions on various personnel and organisational issues (here at New To HR we do not say policies are always right or should be followed to the dot – yet it directs a company in a way).
In summary, companies have policies because they are considered as;
o Framework for consistency and fairness
o Means of communicating with employees
o Means to protect the legal interests of the company
o Set of written guidelines for human resource decisions
o Tool to save management time
o Way to promote the company philosophy
What is a Policy?
A policy states the rule or regulation of a company. It is usually a statement of how an organisation intends to address any particular issue. Policies provide a basis for consistent decision-making and resource allocation. They are a definite method of course of action selected to guide and determine present and future decisions.
Main characteristics of a policy;
o Widespread application
o Changes less frequently
o Usually expressed in broad terms
o Statements of ‘what’ and/or ‘why’
o Addresses major operational issues
What is the Structure of a Policy?
Company policies should start by looking at its missions and objectives.
From these objectives the structure of a policy can be written as follows;
o A vision is formulated
o Business processes are analysed
o Policy and procedure systems to support the vision are born.
o As policies are written, approved, published and implemented, the company vision is articulated.
Example Global Policy Statements
The following gives a brief overview of some of the global policies that may be in use within company X. There are many specific country policies and regulations being used across the world. It is thus highly recommended that when one is unsure of how to proceed or is in need of further information that reference is made to the full policy that the company will have for more details.
We will extend equal opportunity to all individuals without regard for pregnancy, race, gender, religion, colour, transgender and sexual orientation, national origin, age or disability. Company X is committed to the principles of fair employment and the elimination of all discriminatory practices that might exist. We encourage all employees to take advantage of opportunities for promotion as they occur.
We takes seriously the problem of drug and alcohol abuse, and is committed to provide a substance abuse free work place for its employees. This policy applies to all employees of company X, without exception part-time and temporary employees.
- The harassment of any of company X employees is unacceptable behaviour. Anyone found to be in breach of this will be liable to disciplinary action, which could result in their dismissal. For this purpose Harassment is defined as behaviour that is unwanted by the recipient and that the recipient finds the conduct offensive or unacceptable.
- We will not, under any circumstances, condone or tolerate conduct, which may constitute sexual harassment on the part of its management, supervisors or non-management personnel.
- It is our policy that all employees have the right to work in an environment free from any type of illegal discrimination, including sexual harassment.
- Any employee found to have engaged in such conduct will be subject to immediate disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.
The objective of the Company’s X resourcing policy is to fill positions with the best people who meet the specification for the job.
- The recruitment process must be carried out in a professional manner and all legal requirements and company policies must be adhered to, such as observing equal opportunities.
- We ensure it is consistently recruiting, marketed and presented as a professional leading employer by adhering to the company’s diversity/inclusion/equal opportunities policy by not discriminating.
Human Resources Policies are only meaningful, if they are used correctly!
Measuring policy effectiveness requires setting goals, setting up a policy framework to achieve and retain the importance of them and monitor progress every day.
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