When you’re writing out your rules and policies for the workplace, there are many policies and procedures you need to take into consideration. It’s easy to forget a lot of these aspects of your workplace when you’re drawing up these documents, as some are more obvious than others.
Essential HR Policies for Every Organization
No matter the size, space, or culture of your organization, there are some HR policies and procedures that are universal in ensuring employee health, safety, and happiness. Make sure you cover these policies in your HR materials and you should be fine.
Also, it’s important that you make these policies easily accessible for everyone in the form of a digital handbook. You can use AirMason online employee handbook builder to create an advanced employee manual that lists down all important policies.
Without further ado, here are 9 essential HR policies and procedures for your organization:
1. Anti-Harassment and Non-Discrimination
Rules about discrimination and harassment are absolutely essential, especially in 2020 and moving forward. Your HR materials should clearly stamp out any tolerance of harassment, hate speech, and discrimination on the basis of race, sex, gender identity, physical/mental disability, sexual orientation, religion, or any other factors.
If an employee feels that they have been targeted by another employee or client, your HR materials should clearly outline the procedure for reporting the issue, tackling the problem, and getting everything resolved. It’s essential that you give harassed employees a way to document and process the problem.
Whatever the issue, your harassed or discriminated-against employee needs to have the tools to tackle it. You might wish to outline the various types of harassment an employee may come across, as well as what may or may not constitute harassment.
It may also be worth explaining the grey areas of sexual harassment, such as the difference between Hostile Work Environment and Quid Pro Quo.
2. Recruitment Policy
Your recruitment policy basically outlines the way in which your company selects new hires and vets different potential employees.
While things can always slightly vary depending on the job role and the candidates applying, it’s good to have a recruitment policy that serves as a guideline for those team members working in recruitment.
For example, this policy should include information like terms of recruitment, sources of recruitment, placing agent guidelines, payment terms for placing agents, the candidate selection process, how contracts are drawn up, and much more.
A solid recruitment policy gives your team a strong vision of how to hire for your organization.
3. Leave and time off benefits
Depending on your country and/or state, your entitlements to time off will be different. For example, US workers are legally entitled to 2 weeks paid vacation every year, while UK workers are entitled to 5.6 weeks paid holiday every year.
However, your organization may decide to offer slightly more annual leave than the legal minimum as a way to entice potential talent. If this is the case, you must clearly state how much annual leave your employees are entitled to and whether it is paid, unpaid, or partially paid.
Many sectors also offer jobs with flexible working hours and work days, so be sure to outline how the time off and annual leave operates for workers in this type of system.
4. Meal and break periods
If you’re working in a traditional office building (or even remotely for some roles) then you need to define strict times for lunchtime and breaks. You might also have rules around these periods, such as “no eating in the office” which should be spelled out and adhered to. If you’ve got employees who smoke, you might also want to outline your policy on smoking breaks if you allow them.
Remember to try and compensate for your employees who are non-smokers to make sure that everyone is getting a fair amount of break time… whatever their smoking habits may be.
5. Employee Conduct Policy
Employee conduct policies are pretty much common sense rules that demonstrate how someone can act in a polite, professional manner while in their role. Most professionals will consider this to be common sense, but it’s important to have it all down in writing just to be on the safe side.
A sample of an employee conduct policy would be something like this:
“Every employee is expected to act in a professional, responsible, and courteous manner at all times. An employee’s conduct is not made acceptable solely because the employee believes it to be.”
6. Employee Safety Policy
Employee safety policies vary greatly depending on your organization and the kind of work it carries out. The employee safety policy of a factory would be very different from that of a travel agency, for example.
Your employee safety policy should cover everything there is to know about health and safety in your workplace, such as your employees’ rights, the correct PPE, reporting hazards, complying with rules, health insurance coverage they may be entitled to and more.
7. Social Media Policy
It’s become necessary in the modern age to have social media policies that make it clear what your employees can and cannot do online. For example, you need to highlight whether you think it’s acceptable to post unruly or lewd photos online, especially if they can be traced back to your company as an employer.
You should also have strict rules regarding posts about the workplace – it’s not uncommon for disgruntled employees to get fired about complaining about their job/boss/employer publicly on Twitter or Facebook.
Essentially, whether you’re using social media in a personal or professional capacity, you should be careful to not sully the brand name of the company that employs you. You partially represent that brand on the internet, so you need to act responsibly so as to make both you and the brand look good and professional at all times.
It’s common sense, but anything too racy, offensive, or unprofessional is a no-no. Be clear about what is and is not okay.
Like your customers, your employees have a right to privacy. Essentially, this policy tells your employees what you do with their information and data, assuring them that their confidential information is kept just that – confidential. They have a right to it!
9. Disciplinary and Termination Policies
Different organizations have different policies for disciplining and terminating employees who have made mistakes or poor judgements.
Some companies will terminate employees as soon as they make a big mistake, whereas others have a “three strike” system where they give employees 2 warnings before a final termination.
Depending on your country/state, termination laws can be different, so be sure to check the legal requirements in your region before settling on your disciplinary policies.
Be sure to include information about warnings, strikes, suspension, and any offences that will result in an immediate termination.
Well there we have it! These 9 HR policies and procedures are essential for every single workplace, so hopefully this list gave you some things to think about as you draw up your HR materials for future and existing employees at your organization.