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Last Updated September 3, 2019

How overlooking HR policies and procedures can affect your business?

Every business needs a suite of Human Resources policies and procedures to support its day to day operations.

Policies and procedures are an important tool to clearly set the expectations of employees and employers, and enables a fair and consistent approach.  

How do you know which policies and procedures are important for your business and its success?  What are the kinds of things that you should address in your policies and procedures?

Don’t overlook this important area because it seems to hard or you don’t know where to start.

First, let’s look at the types of policies and procedures.

As a starting point there are a range of compliance policies that all businesses should have, including:

– acceptable workplace behaviour and conduct,
– addressing sexual harassment,
– bullying and discrimination,
– privacy, and
– occupational health and safety.

Following on from this, there are a range of policies and procedures which outline the various end to end human resources activities, including:

– recruitment,
– learning and development,
performance management,
– termination, and
– dealing with grievances.

Lastly, there are particular policies to support tasks, resources and equipment; including:

– flexible work practices,
– computer and email usage, and
– travel and reimbursement of expenses.

Next, once these policies and procedures have been created, the documents should not be filed and ignored.

Too often, organisations are caught out with ineffective or outdated policies because after implementing them they give them little thought.

Here are some guiding principles for developing and maintaining effective workplace policies:

Communicate policies and procedures to employees. This should initially be done during induction. There are many ways to do this including online, face to face workshops, one on one discussions or case studies.

Refresh existing employees knowledge of policies and procedures. Keep documents in a place where they can be accessed by everyone and keep a record of training details to assist with expiry dates.

Review policies as they can quickly become ineffective or out of date as your business evolves or legislation changes. Set a plan in place for regular review of policies and procedures. Make sure it is clear who is responsible for review and updates to existing documentation. Be sure to communicate any changes to employees.

Human Resources policies provide a solid framework of understanding for employees and employers to work together. Small Business Society can provide advice on developing a suite of policies that best suits your needs.

The information provided in this document is for your guidance only and is general in nature. It does not constitute as legal advice. It is the responsibility of the individual to seek legal advice where required.

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About Kate Tongue

Kate Tongue is the founding Director of Small Business Society.

She is a qualified and experienced Human Resources professional with more than 10 years of experience across the private and public sectors.

Her particular interest and experience is in managing the employee life cycle, delivering process improvements, and Human Resource strategy.

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