HR Policies & Procedures (2)
Having policies that are out of date or not followed can actually be more of a concern that not having any policies at all.
Why? Well, imagine playing hockey, soccer, football; or any other sport with no rules or rules that no one listens to. It becomes a free for all. When the rules are there but people turn a blind eye to them, there are a lot of upset players and fans. We go to watch sports with a certain expectation of how the referees will manage the game and make sure it’s played fairly. If the rules change, and sometimes they do; we want to be made aware of them so we can understand the game.
For those of you who are not sports fans; think about a parent-child relationship. One day it’s O.K. for your child to ignore your request to clean up his room; the next day, he’s being screamed at because he didn’t clean up his room. Another day goes by, and you go in and clean the room up yourself because it’s not meeting your standards and you just can’t stand it anymore. Confusing message, isn’t it?
Well – it’s the same thing in the working world.
Sending mixed messages by having policies that are used only when it’s convenient to pull them out is damaging not only to morale; but can actually create legal problems for an employer.
Policies should be up to date, communicated frequently (particularly when something has changed) and followed consistently. No, the world is not completely black and white and each situation must be handled on a case by case basis; but having good policies is a starting point and can help to alleviate the confusion and mitigate law suits.
We offer a 1/2 hour free consultation and would be happy to give you more information that may assist you in understanding the benefit to having policies in your workplace.
The best reason I know of to have policies is to give everyone the rules of the game. We need to have some direction and understanding of how to do our jobs. Employers also have obligations they must uphold for their employees.
Policies and procedures not only tell you what the rules of the game are, but they also tell you how the game is played. Step by step.
When there are difficult situations for supervisors or managers to make a decision about, policies will help them tackle that and know that everyone is doing the same thing. It takes the guesswork out of many human resource concerns.
The proceudral aspect can help everyone in understanding what steps will be taken in situations such as hiring new employees, posting jobs, vacation and statutory entitlements, sick leave or other benefits, harassment steps and how conflict will be managed in terms of who does what.
When policies and procedures are clear it makes the environment much easier to work in. Morale is higher and supervisors have a support system from the organization in which to base their decisions on.