HR policies and procedures are rules and regulations designed to help managers and employees in a business. They can range from complex documents covering everything from hiring and firing employees to simple lists of rules for employees to follow. HR policies and procedures often cover staff recruitment, employee discipline, and performance reviews. HR policies are the documents that set out these rules, while HR procedures are the actions employees must take to follow the policy.
HR policies and procedures are pivotal in guiding managers and employees on what is expected from them. The HR policies and procedures also help ensure that the organization meets the legal obligations to its empoyees. Creating and formulating HR policies and procedures that align with legislation, industry trends, and general employment trends is essential as it helps foster a conducive, fair, safe and positive work environment.
Developing these policies and procedures and constantly reviewing them must be at the top of an organization's HR strategy. The formulation of these policies and procedure is delicate and must therefore be handled with care as any inconsistencies or misinterpretations may have profound legal implications for an organization. The article below is a guide on developing good HR policies and procedures for your organization.
1. Identifying the need for a new policy
Identifying the need for a new policy is the first step in developing HR policies. This is usually prompted by a situation or event that affects the organization's employees. These situations could be the introduction of new legislation in the country or a crisis such as the one prompted by Covid 19. In the case of Covid 19, most organizations had to go remote. The situation prompted a new policy, such as the work from home policy.
Organizations must make it a priority to detect issues that concern their employees and create policies for those needs. Understanding the needs of your employees and ensuring that you pay particular attention to recurring issues could also be another way of identifying the need for new policies. Lately, there has been more awareness on mental health. People are beginning to have a better understanding of mental health, mainly issues to do with depression. The mental health crisis prompted the need for a new policy. The wellness policy was established to help organizations assist their employees in dealing with mental health issues. Many organizations with a solid human resources strategy have adopted this policy, and the results of this policy have been outstanding. In an article by Deloitte, they reported greater work productivity in their employees since they adopted the wellness policy.
It is clear that paying attention to both your external and internal environment is extremely important in identifying the need for a new policy; this is the first stage of developing good HR Policies and procedures.
2. Create a team that will develop the policies
Once the need for a new policy has been identified, the next stage is to create a team of individuals who will be involved in developing the policy. In large corporations, boards or committees assign the duty of drafting and reviewing policies. Some organizations engage consultants who have expertise in developing policies. Organizations can create a cross-functional team that caters to everyone in the business, including leadership, HR and other staff members. By doing this, you'll probably create compelling policies that more people can relate to and are more inclined to follow. You will also have access to more precise knowledge about current procedures. Once the team is in place, they can follow the steps below.
3. Collect Information
The next step in designing HR policies is to gather information about the policies you intend to create. This may be accomplished by investigating policy models in companies comparable to yours and examining historical practices in your company. Examining the HR policies and processes of other firms in the same sector keeps you on track with best practices.
Aside from benchmarking with similar organizations, understanding world trends in employment policies is also vital in developing the policies. It is paramount that the team responsible for developing the policies collect as much information around issues with employment and then customize this information to suit the organization's needs.
4. Ensure that your policies are aligned with county labour laws
The second stage in designing HR policy is ensuring that you adhere to the country's labor regulations. The country's labour laws must be a continual reference when dealing with statutory employment issues, such as leave and disciplinary matters. Failure to follow employment laws may result in significant legal consequences. It is also critical to ensure that the team in charge of formulating policies is well-versed in the labor laws of the nation in which you operate.
5. Determine Policy Content
Once the required information has been gathered and the important participants have been identified, the next step would be to decide the policy's substance. The material can only be created once you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve by developing the policies.A comprehensive policy should have the following:
- A policy statement
- A policy definition
- Policy Objectives
- Policy Principles
- Policy Procedure
6. Draft Policy
The next stage is to create a draft policy. When developing the draft, thorough research of industry trends and legislation should be done. Although it may be tempting to write a lengthy paper outlining every specific policy detail, it is best to keep it as concise as possible. Over-explaining could lead to misinterpretation. It is essential to stick to simple language that makes it easy for people to understand.
7. Review of the Draft Policy
Once the draft has been completed, the next stage is to review the draft policy with the team responsible for drafting the policies. You can resolve any questions and make the required adjustments by reviewing the policies with management or other impacted parties. Additionally, you must ensure that your policies do not conflict with individual, collective, or employment contracts.
8. Communicate Policies to Employees
Following the finalization of the draft, the following step would be to convey these new policies to employees. This implies that sending a bulk email and presuming everyone has seen it may not be the ideal method of communication. It would be more successful if the team that established the policies delivered the policies to the rest of the staff through HR Policies and Procedures training. If there are any questions or disagreements, they will be resolved with the policymakers.
9. Audit Policies regularly
After the policies have been completed and implemented, the maintenance phase begins; for your HR policies to stay viable, they must be audited regularly. A once-a-year review is generally sufficient. However, if there are any particular adjustments, the policies should be amended more frequently. To keep your policies current, keep track of legislative changes, market changes, firm restructuring or rebranding, technological improvements, and corporate expansion. It would help if you incorporated all the relevant changes into the policies. This approach will keep your policies current and relevant.
Human Resource policies and procedures are designed to protect the company's best interests. They outline the necessary steps to perform specific actions to achieve the desired results. They also provide guidelines for employees on how to behave within the workplace and the consequences for failing to comply.
Mutsawashe Musvaire is a Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a management and human resources consulting firm. Phone +263 (242) 481946-48/481950 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.ipcconsultants.com