Developing an effective human resource policy for your small business involves establishing standards for finding, retaining, managing and motivating your workforce. Your HR policy sets expectations for your staff. Documents typically include a company mission statement, HR goals, statements about hours, conditions of employment, dress code, use of company resources, and ethical business practices. HR policies also usually define how your company treats harassment, health and safety on the job, vacation, privacy, performance, and disciplinary action.
Effective HR policies set the ground rules for your company. Once you develop your policies, you must publish and distribute them so all employees have access. Conduct training sessions to make managers and employees aware of the policy’s intent. New employees should complete this training during their first day with your company. Existing employees should complete refresher training once a year. Enforcement of these policies must be consistent. HR policies provide safeguards for both the company and the workforce.
Effective behavioral HR policies clearly define work ethics, business relationships, and professional conduct required of all employees. To develop an effective policy, examine your company's business strategy and identify the key forces affecting the company. This might include changes in technology, markets or competitors. Develop a mission statement about what you want your employees to accomplish. Analyze your organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Describe your organization’s culture, organization, people and systems. Prepare detailed job descriptions that include day-to-day responsibilities, including necessary qualifications for all positions. This may list required licenses, degrees or certifications. Define the rules for workforce planning, employee selection and recruitment, mandatory training, management development, performance appraisal, employee rewards, and communication.
Health and Safety Policies
Safety policies describe procedures for situations such as evacuating in an emergency, preventing fires, administering first aid, and operating equipment properly. Your policies should state that each employee is responsible for performing job tasks in a safe and efficient way that is in compliance with local, state and federal laws and regulations governing health and safety. Each policy should also clearly state that failure to comply with the policy may result in disciplinary action. This might include termination.
An effective HR policy provides clear guidance to your company's managers and employees regarding attendance, performance, and employee benefits and compensation. These policies set expectations about how the employee will be judged. This includes disciplinary policies that managers enforce when an employee shows disregard for rules, such as tardiness, dress code violations, improper use of company equipment, inappropriate telephone use, substance abuse, smoking in the workplace where not permitted, violence, solicitation, or harassment.
- Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images