Difference in opinion and behaviour often becomes a cause of chaos in a corporate set-up with a multicultural workforce. Employers, thus, find ways to develop preventive measures when confronted with employee relations issues. One similar way to establish expectations and provide guidance on handling such workplace situations is formulation of company policies. Policies and procedures give directions to the employees about appropriate and inappropriate conduct, privileges and limitations in order to maintain order within the organization, thereby ensuring fair and equal treatment of every individual.
Developing HR Policies
Every year/half year, businesses introduce new policies or revise the existing ones as per the demand of the current scenario. It takes a proper strategy and key considerations while formulating and implementing HR policies in a company.
Let’s have a look at the 5 main steps to develop effective HR policies and procedures:
Alignment with business needs
The first step is to identify your business needs and create HR policies to support the same. The purpose and objectives of the HR dimension that your organization wishes to attain must align with the policies and procedures that you are going to implement. For this, it is important to check all the needs such as consistent standards and rules, unbiased treatment of employees, uniform HR operations, government laws and regulations compliance, legal protection or any other requirement of introducing the policy. All the policies that you are about to make live should line up with these needs.
Reflection of company image and culture
Company policies can make or break the first impression that an outsider (such as a candidate) gets of your workplace. So, the next thing you need to take care of is how to make sure that every policy speaks volumes about the overall culture of your organization and presents you in a good light. Policies must be in compliance with all the appropriate laws and regulations, show affirmation of all employees and reflect an overall true & fair approach of workforce management. This is how a new joiner would become sure about your positive/nurturing work environment.
Clear language and concise structure
What are HR policies? These are nothing but the guidelines in written form that explain what employers expect and how employees must function. So, the content of company policies and procedures must be determined and drafted thoroughly. The policy names and headings should be self-explanatory, each policy should be defined by a concise structure and outline, phrases used must not show rigidness but openness to change, and the language should be easy to understand and follow.
Employee-friendliness, flexibility, and ease of practice
The company policies for employees should be employee-centric. Meaning, the first and foremost entity whose well-being and happiness should be kept in mind is the workforce of the organization. To make sure of this, employers have to develop policies that are:
- Employee-friendly: Written in goodwill of the employees, to support their needs
- Flexible: Open to modifications as per changing circumstances of the organization
- Easy to practice: Easily adaptable, respecting the diversity of the workforce
Multiple buy-ins for review and implementation
Now, before you go ahead and finalize the HR policies, it is imperative to take suggestions and feedback from multiple stakeholders. HR heads must consult and seek the view of employees, senior management, CHROs, CXOs, clients, external partners, and union representatives about these HR policies to be more effective in the process and make sure that the policies benefit all.
Implementing HR Policies
Some key pointers to ensure a smooth and effective implementation of HR policies and procedures are as follows:
- Good intentions and fair approach of the management/decision makers to ensure policy benefits for one and all
- Keeping employees on the same page as the management to avoid any misunderstanding or misinterpretation of policies
- Training HRs and managers to rightly communicate policies to the staff/employees
- Entrusting 3rd party (impartial body) in case of difference of opinion to steer clear of conflicts and sustain harmony while implementing policies
- Maintaining compliance with all local, national, and industry-related laws & rules
- Timely information and valid justification for departing from a declared policy or modifying one
The important thing is to clearly communicate these important HR policies to your employees before introducing, while developing, and even post implementing them for better impact. Customized HR policy templates make it easier for HR heads/managers to modify and enforce the policies, thereby quickly witnessing the improvements brought about in the organization. These successful company policies will then influence the whole business and contribute towards wider goals by managing and taking care of the people you need to practice them.