HR Policies: Love Them or Hate Them, You’ve Got to Have Them.
It’s that time of year, again. The perennial “what are we doing for the holidays?” conversations are emerging. Just this week I talked with several clients about how to handle company parties, holiday vacations and employee gifts. These issues can be easily addressed with some forethought and clarity.
The worst thing you can do is to not have written guidelines for the workplace. I know, I know, you hate policies! But, when conflicts and misunderstandings crop up, you will hate refereeing even more! What a waste of your valuable time.
Over the years, I have heard the myth that employees don’t like policies. I haven’t found that to be true if policies are created with sensible consideration of both the needs of employees and the organization. Further, you must effectively communicate your policies and share why you have them. For example, if you want to implement a holiday party policy, explain that it helps to clarify expectations to avoid any misunderstandings among employees, customers and suppliers. Your employees will get it if your policies are fair and balanced.
For those who are allergic to HR policies, I offer the following advice. It’s far better to have a documented basis for the decisions you make instead of “winging it” and hoping everyone feels they are being treated fairly. Leaving your employment decisions to chance or whim can negatively impact morale, cause conflict, or even result in legal exposure.
This might be a good time to take a look at all of your policies. Perhaps you don’t have any, but you know your business would run more smoothly with a few basic policies in place, such as attendance, dress code or flex time. Or, maybe you have had policies in place for awhile and your organization would benefit from refreshing them to better reflect your operation as it exists today.
Greet the New Year by creating or refreshing your Human Resources policies. You will reduce hassles and confusion by publishing your expectations and providing your team the guidance they need to be focused, engaged and productive.
I admit that you may not fall in love with policies, but you will avoid a world of hurt if you have a few guidelines in place to keep things running smoothly.
Here’s a way to jumpstart your process:
- Ask two or three people on your team to review your current policies.
- Identify gaps or policies that need to be updated.
- Use our Employee Handbook Fast Pack to customize your new policies.
- Have your legal counsel review and “bless” your final policies. (This should be a quick review, not a rewrite!).
- Communicate your new policies and have employees acknowledge their understanding of the policies.
- Ensure that managers and supervisors are clear about your policies.