Beyond HR Policies

Your employees are the lifeblood of your business.  As a business owner it is your legal responsibility to make sure that they are treated fairly and provided a safe working environment.  Whether you have one employee or one hundred employees, the first place to start is with and comprehensive employee manual. As a matter of fact, you are expected to give employees a copy of the company HR Policy Handbook and it is a good idea to review that with them during your initial on-boarding meeting.  Make sure they acknowledge/sign that they have received and reviewed the handbook.

You can download HR Policy Handbook templates from the internet and you can edit the templates to fit your needs, requirements and company culture.  Research shows that employees who feel appreciated are more likely to remain on the job and to perform above and beyond job duties and responsibilities.

Human resource policiesA good way to demonstrate appreciation is by including a couple of additional key policies into your HR Handbook and work environment.  Here are 5 ideas/policies to consider.

    1. Security.  Employees want to feel safe in their work environment and when they represent the company at events and meetings.  A policy that outlines travel safety tips, meeting safety and office security will go a long way to ensure loyalty.  An anti-bullying policy is also important as is a clear mechanism for reporting and management of such cases.
    2. Clear hiring practices.  It is always a good idea to promote from within your organization for the obvious cost and team building reasons. That said, a clear hiring practice that posts/lists jobs and qualification requirements is imperative because it will level the playing field and set the tone for expectations.
    3. Encouraging self management will demonstrate and build trust.  Policies that outline decision making processes, spending limits, customer service and reporting expectations are very important.
    4. Training and professional development policies are key to promoting and maintaining a growth mindset within your business.  Things to consider:
      1. Reimbursement for classes
      2. Paid time off for classes
      3. Subscriptions to industry publications
      4. Membership in industry groups
    5. Transparency.  The most successful small business owners know that they are as strong as their team.  They also know the importance of surrounding themselves with employees they can trust and who have the best interests of the business in mind.  A policy of transparency — willingness to share information about the financial health of the business as well as the challenges being faced– is key in building trust and loyalty.

Keep in mind that an HR Policy Handbook is not meant to be static.  It should be reviewed at least annually to ensure that it is up to date with legal requirements.  It is important to get input from key staff members as you do this review.

When was the last time you looked at your HR Policy Handbook?  Is it time to review and update??

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“Beyond HR Policies checklist”

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Nancy Allen