How to develop a Human Resource Policy ?

The human resource policy of an organization contains the rules, regulations, benefits pertaining to the employees in an organization. It is imperative that all organizations have a consistent Human resource policy. A clear Human resource policy goes a long way in ensuring transparency and clarity in the functioning of the organization. The need for periodic memos and circulars explaining the organization’s policies does not arise.

Another advantage of a well laid human resource policy is that it serves to ward off lawsuits relating to HR issues as employees are clear about the framework of rules and principles on which the company functions.

There are many sources of information available today for the company to access when drafting rules pertaining to issues like benefits and safety. The internet contains many such websites with information.

However, some experts believe that using readymade policies and manuals may not be a good idea. They opine that the policy for every company must be unique and be reflective of the nature and the environment it is operating in. There can be variation in employment laws by location and industry such as transport and health care. Culture is also a critical factor in developing the human resource policy.

Some entrepreneurial companies may be concerned about whether a new Human resource policy will affect the existing working culture in the organization. This can be avoided by keeping a few things in mind.

Explaining the need for a policy helps the employees understand the requirement of a Human resource policy. The employees also understand the benefits they stand to gain with a consistent human resource policy. Explain the consequences that would arise from an oversight in human resource policy.

Releasing the set of policies on all issues at the same time enables the employees to get the message of the human resource policy in its entirety rather than focus on issues in isolation.

While the policy of all organizations can be customized according to the ambient culture and principles, all policies should compulsorily contain topics on equal employment, anti-discrimination and voluntary employment.

The steps involved in developing a human resource policy can be 

1. Identification of the need
This step identifies the specific needs which warrant an hr policy. There may be ambiguity regarding subjects such as leave, cell phone use, dress code etc. A consistent human resource policy puts such confusion to rest. 

2. Goal of the HR policy
There are times when employees may look at a human resource policy with suspicion as a restriction. This idea needs to be dispelled. Write down the goal of the policy as you would explain to the employees. A well articulated goal helps in the implementation process. 

3.  Development of the policy 
The policy can be developed in simple language describing the different aspects of human resource management in the context of the goals of the company. Inputs can be taken from people who will implement the policy. It is better to check if the policy covers the normal exceptions and conditions. 

4. Review of the policy
Tthe policy can be reviewed by a panel of select employees and their feedback can be evaluated and implemented in the policy. 

5. Submit the policy to the management for their review and support
Getting support from the management is vital for the implementation of the policy. 

6. Review of the legal implications
Ensure that the policy covers all the legal issues related to human resources. Consult the legal team in the organization. However, it should be ensured that the human resource policy is in simple language without legal jargon. 

7. Implementation
This should ideally be done in small groups where the employees are given a chance to raise issues and ask questions. The employees should sign a document that they have received and understood the policy.

The policy should place emphasis on ethical behavior, fairness in opportunity and good conduct in the workplace. It is also imperative that it states that the company and the employee can terminate the employment at any time that the policy does in no way constitute a contractual obligation on the part of the organization. It is also necessary to mention that the company reserves the right to change the policy at any time without prior notice.