What are HR Policies and Procedures?
An organization works within a framework or within certain guidelines. These guidelines are set by the top management and different departments of the company including the HR team completely depending on the type of HR policies and procedures that need to be implemented. This framework and these guidelines are known as the HR policies and procedures of the company. The HR policies and procedure of any company describes the business of the organization and how do you need to execute the business under what guidelines do you need to perform.
In short the HR policies and procedures of the company provide guidelines on how do you execute your job in the company and also what you can do and you cannot do in the organization. They also guide you on the activities that can and cannot be performed by the employees of the company along with what decisions can be made and cannot be made. It is also said that these policies and procedures are not law enforced by the government yet they have they usually have a foundation in law.
Definition of Policy:
Policy can be defined as…
A plan and a high level statement which formally briefs with an inclusion of the organizational goals, general benefits, acceptable procedures, and objectives to certain area of subject is a known as a policy. It always specify the action that is required and also defines standard pointer and they also have a few elements for example
- Requirement of compliance is mandatory
- Disciplinary action that needs to be taken against failure to comply these policies
- Desired results need to be focused and how to implement
- Set standard guidelines need to be specified and defined appropriately
Definition of Procedures:
Procedures define a process and the process states what job is going to be performed by whom? When does the job need to be performed and what are the criteria of performing the job? These procedures can either be put down on a process manual and outlined or can be written down in text.
- Procedures include a step by step accomplishment towards the end goal of the job to be performed
- Procedures are machines in the form of text to enforce the policy and a way of protecting resources.
- It’s a guide to refer to at the time of any crises in the organization.
- It helps in abolishing problems in one single instinct
- Procedures can also be called as SOP or Standard Operating Procedures.
How does the Combination of Policy and Procedure Work?
A policy of an organization is also known as the guiding principle of the organization used to set direction for the employees working in the company. Whereas procedures are step by step direction that needs to be followed with consistency and continually lead the organization towards its set goals. HR policies and procedure when combined together they guide and help the employees or the management responsible for using and setting up the processes by directing them and giving them the consistency required for successful improvement of processes.
Both HR policies and procedure need to work appropriately for the system of the organization to work fine. Not having them in the system does make completing any task in the organization difficult as it serves as the guide for the employees. Policies and procedures try to eliminate or minimize mistakes, making the operations of the organization work smoothly. HR policies and procedure makes the processes of the organization more transparent this makes the system function smoothly.
Why do you need to have Policy and Procedures in an Organization?
Let us list down the necessity of having policies and procedures
- It makes the system more transparent and easier to work in.
- A transparent system attracts more business and better employees to work for.
- Policies and procedures help people in setting realistic expectations form the organization.
- An organized system reduces the chances of making mistakes and creating misunderstandings.
- They set principles for the organizational work along with what and who the company values.
- What management can and is suppose to do to make sure that it creates security, satisfaction, reassure and fun loving atmosphere within the organization also confirm what will the organization do in return for the employees.
- Sets rule of treating each and every employee inside the organization fairly and with complete respect.
- Sets guidelines as to how will the organization help the employee to their respond and their support in case of any concern.
- Helps in conflicting situation with the help of resolutions mentioned in the procedures.
- Hr polices and procedure is a complete guide for the management if the organization to ensure that the company functions smoothly.
Importance of Policy and Procedures of an Organization
Important points inside the HR policies:
- The process of selecting and recruiting an employee
- Process of giving equal opportunities policy
- Safeguarding the employee’s self-respect at work policy
- Procedures of discipline and injustices
- Procedures of safety of the employee
- Code of conduct
- Procedure of managing the employee leaves
- Policies for family
- Retirement pay and pension policies
- Statutory policy
Policies that can be good for the organization:
- Responsibilities of the board
- Investment and reserve polices
- Money laundering policies
- Performance and appraisal procedures
- Whistle blower policy
- Mail and internet usage policy
- Expenses policy
- Risk management policy
- Work flexibility policy
- Career break policy
How do you Write HR Policies and Procedure?
Up till now we have explained HR policies and procedures and its importance in the smooth functioning of an organization. You now know the relevance of the guidelines set by the set HR policies and procedure of any company. Well if creating one is one of your responsibilities today then you will have to do it perfectly as you wouldn’t want to go wrong with the most important information document of the organization. Going wrong with the HR policies and the procedure of the company might put you down in front of your seniors and other colleagues.
This document can help you as a guide in helping you prepare an HR policy and procedure for your organization.
1. Choose a suitable title for the policy
When you title a HR policies the title should be able to describe the basic content of the policy. Choosing a relevant title is very important to create the policy and procedure of the company as it is the first step to developing a suitable HR policies. The title should help the employee in identifying, locating and referring to particular process. It should be able to answer a few questions for you.
- Is the title describing the basic content of the policy?
- Will the staff that is not familiar to the policy be able to understand the title and is the title of the policy user friendly?
- Will the illustrations and key words of the title assist the reader appropriately?
2. Understand the motive behind writing a policy
You want to make sure that you address the most important need of the HR policies, which means you would want to make sure that employees have access to the answers of their questions easily and without any issues. Hence you need to 1st understand the motive behind writing a policy for the employees of the company.
The intention of the company and the HR needs to be outlined in the policy very clearly so that the reader or the employee has no hesitation in looking for the same. This purpose needs to be considered as a road map to reach to their goals.
3. Use very simple and clear language
Very, Very Important, it is extremely important for the reader to understand what you want to convey to them. Hence using simple and clear language is very important while writing HR policies and its procedures. Be precise and make sure you do not use jargons.
4. Your policy and procedure should reflect the company’s image
Your policy statement should mention the rules and regulations and what actions will be taken against the employees who disrespect or disobey the HR policies and procedure by overlooking the same. The procedures should be precise and so should be the action taken against the employee who disobeys them.
5. The HR policies needs to have a very clear outline
Outlining means clear demonstration of the HR policies in the procedures and the guidelines. The procedure of following the policy needs to be mentioned in steps and in order to serve as a guide for the audience. It should also state how the policy will affect the organization and its reputation in the market.
- A sequence needs to be mentioned by the writer while writing the HR policies to make reading and tracing the policy easy for the employees
- The step by step procedure will give the employees a start and an end to execute along with the expected results
- The HR policies will highlight the consequences and disciplinary action that will be taken against the employee incase the policy is overlooked
6. Make the HR policies kind of user friendly
Policies and procedures are confusing if not addressed and written well. even if you are writing the HR policies there might be similar or may be same terminology used by different departments of the company.
- The intentions of the content needs to be clear to the reader
- Clarify statements with references
- The tone that you write in must suite the organizational atmosphere
7. Finalize your HR policy
- Before you finalize your document you need to read the document once or may be even twice to make sure it does not have errors or omissions that need to be rectified
- Make sure you have clearly illustrated and clarifies your content
- Your final draft will come on the 1st page with the date and the notes that have been revised
- Add the signature page
8. Check the same with a senior
Your content might be perfect as per you for you are the one who has checked the same; however a third person with good amount of experience can review your content and give you feeds backs if required to improvise and illustrate better. Getting your senior and your supervisor involved is a good idea as you would not want to miss out on something very important on this very important document of the company.
9. Review with team and other staff
Before submitting the HR policies and procedure you must share the document with your team and the other staff members of the organization. Request them to help you with inputs regarding the defined policy if they have any. This will build your confidence before submitting the document.
10. Keep the policy flexible
Policies and procedures keep changing with, time, with people and with occasions. You need to make sure that the content you develop is flexible enough to adapt changes. There should be scope to write down changes and alter the HR policies and procedure of the HR in the organization as and when required by the organization.
Creating Good HR Policies
Before we get this topic to an end will brief about creating good policies.
- A good policy is simple and plain written in jargon free language
- The policy should be linked to the strategies and morals of your organization
- The policy needs to be very flexible
- A good policy should be able to adapt to changes as an when required
- The policy should adapt to your organizational culture easily
- It should be developed by the interested stake holders
- Development of a policy should also involve employees of the company
- The policy needs to be communicated to all the employees of the company as it is the HR policy.
Here are some articles that will help you to get more detail about the HR policies so just go through the link.