My WordPress

Top 5 Most Important HR Policies

most important hr policies

An effective HR policy document can support managers, supervisors and leaders. It allows them to make quick decisions without consulting others and eliminate feelings of bias – conscious or otherwise.

Before publishing an HR policy, make sure that it has been reviewed by experienced individuals within your organisation – this will ensure no mistakes go undetected.

1. Sexual Harassment Policy

Harassment is illegal and detrimental to workplace morale. Ensure your company is safeguarded by creating an effective sexual harassment policy which employees understand, so they can easily report any instances of inappropriate conduct to management.

Sexual harassment refers to any unwanted verbal or physical conduct that is considered unacceptable and offensive within the workplace environment. Furthermore, this form of conduct can constitute discrimination based on invariant characteristics such as race, religion, gender, age, disability and genetic information.

Employers must develop and enforce an effective sexual harassment policy to safeguard employees from harassment. An effective policy must define harassment, provide options and requirements for reporting harassment incidents, prohibit retaliation, provide realistic reporting procedures for employees to report behaviour that constitutes harassment and list several people authorized to receive complaints about violations of procedures outlined within the policy as well as consequences of failing to follow them properly. It is also wise to include reminders in the policy that needs to be reviewed regularly with supervisor training updates.

2. Meal and Break Period Policy

Employees need assurances of a safe and healthy work environment, so HR leaders should include a policy regarding workplace safety and security in their employee handbook, with clear descriptions of responsibilities, penalties for misconduct and reporting procedures for unsafe working conditions.

Establishing a comprehensive leave policy can alleviate employee stress in cases of illness, family emergencies or just wanting to travel. Communicating this policy clearly can ensure all employees receive enough time off in order to thrive at work.

Meal and break periods are an integral component of many state labor laws, so it is crucial that your company’s meal and break policies comply with applicable regulations. For instance, New York labor law mandates employers provide employees who work six or more hours in a shift with at least 30 minutes off for lunch break; however if mutual consent between employer and employee exists to waive that period it won’t count towards time worked.

Consider your company’s equipment use and return policy, which outlines when and under what conditions employees can borrow tools and equipment; record keeping policies are also an essential component to ensure smooth operations at your organization.

3. Drugs and Alcohol Policy

There are a variety of strategies for combatting substance abuse in the workplace, but an HR policy must clearly state their zero-tolerance policy on drug and alcohol usage as well as provide information regarding random testing procedures. Furthermore, an employee assistance program and that those in safety-sensitive roles should notify management or HR as soon as they become impaired should also be included within such policies.

Policies may also provide clarity as to whether a dress code applies, meal and break periods and requests/grants of leave (both paid and unpaid), how leave is requested/granted as well as any confidential information and technology policies implemented in companies. HR teams should review federal and provincial labour laws that may impact how they operate at certain locations.

Implementing key HR policies can reduce liability by helping managers understand and apply company guidelines consistently to all employees. Furthermore, making them accessible is also vital as this enables team members to easily refer back when needed.

4. Performance Management Policy

To remain competitive and expand its business, companies must ensure employees are working at peak efficiency. An effective performance management policy assists companies in meeting this goal by quickly identifying and solving any potential problems early.

Policy should outline steps managers can take if an employee’s performance falls below expectations, including coaching sessions, written plans of improvement or termination from employment if necessary – although any such actions must first be approved by HR before being implemented.

A strong performance management system includes regular feedback sessions between managers and employees, helping foster an atmosphere of open communication and trust that fosters employee performance. Likewise, it enables managers to clearly convey what is expected of employees in their role with regards to overall company goals, which makes employees feel more invested in the success of the organization and ultimately has a beneficial effect on its bottom line.

5. Discipline Policy

A discipline policy must provide details on when and how managers will discipline employees. Furthermore, it should detail each step in your disciplinary process and which infractions may start at each step. Furthermore, it’s wise to include language stating that employees who feel unfairly treated by their manager will have the option to appeal decisions made against them.

Step one of your disciplinary policy should involve providing employees with a verbal warning in private about how their behavior or performance falls short of expectations. If necessary, written reprimand should also be issued and they should sign an acknowledgment document acknowledging having received it.

Policy should also specify that any subsequent violations will lead to an official disciplinary meeting involving HR, department heads, or supervisors. Employees should be told that if their behavior continues uncorrected in this last stage, the company will terminate them – protecting itself from legal actions alleging discrimination while simultaneously creating a legally defensible argument for dismissal.

Scroll to Top