Policies and Procedures
HR Policies are general statements that serve to guide decision making and communication with employees. They generally serve three purposes:
- To reassure employees that they will be treated fairly and without prejudice
- To assist managers and HR to make consistent decisions
- To give managers and HR the confidence to resolve problems, knowing that they are following the policy and procedure set out by the organisation in a consistent manner.
Items covered by HR policies include recruitment and selection, performance management, termination, training and development, equal employment opportunity (EEO), flexible work, promotions and increases.
HR procedures detail precisely what action to be taken in a particular situation – for example the particular steps to be followed when placing someone on a performance improvement plan, giving someone a pay increase or when handling a harassment complaint. It is important for HR and managers to follow their own policies and procedures and to be seen and trusted to be fair and equitable.
Importance of writing effective Policies and Procedures
HR does not operate in a vacuum so writing effective, current and strategic policies and procedures is vital. Many internal and external factors continue to impact the workforce, management and HR departments. External factors may include changes in technology, labour laws and economic conditions, whereas internal changes may comprise organisational culture, strategy, structure and systems. All of these have a direct impact on HR's objectives, strategies and action plans.
Equal employment legislation, as an example has had a significant impact on Australian industrial relations. Therefore, it is important for HR to consider these changes and to analyse their short and long term impacts on the workforce and the organisation. Such factors have the potential to hinder organisational success if not appropriately implemented or managed.
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