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Human resource policies are fundamental to your company, specifically its internal operation. Communication with your employees, setting clear boundaries, and providing them with a safe space is essential to work culture. HR policies play a significant role in this.
The Importance of Well-Developed Policies
Before discussing the guidelines every solid and well-run Human Resources department should have, let us first examine why they’re so important.
- Compliance: Human resource policies help your company comply with legal requirements and regulations, including equal opportunity laws, labour laws, and workplace safety standards.
- Communicating Expectations: The rules you set for your employees, which HR heavily enforces, communicate your expectations regarding how they should behave during work hours, perform tasks, and conduct themselves overall. This open communication helps your staff understand what you expect of them, working to avoid misunderstandings at all costs.
- Promoting Consistency: Vital in the workplace, consistency should be reflected in HR policies and procedures, especially when it comes to decision-making. A steady process will guarantee employees experience fair treatment, and knowledge of HR policies will help them to expect fairness at every turn.
- Managing Risk: HR policies and procedures Australia help you manage business risk by offering guidelines for handling workplace disputes, disciplinary actions, and, very importantly, termination procedures. Your HR regulations will not only protect your employees, but they will protect you too!
- Foster Positivity: HR policies can help you foster and encourage positivity in workplace culture by showcasing inclusion, respect, and diversity. Aiming for a fair, safe, and productive environment will protect the interests of employees and your business.
You can see how HR policies make or break your business or, at the very least, how your employees perceive it. A solid HR department will significantly affect employee retention rates.
So, which essential human resource policies should your business implement?
Essential HR Policies You Need
Every business operates differently. Some prefer in-office staff, while others exist on a remote-only basis. Many allow denim and casual clothing, while others prefer business attire.
When you own a company, you can be flexible regarding how you want things to look, but there are departments where you should have a solid framework in play. These include accounting and HR.
If you’re overwhelmed by the ideal essential HR policies in Australia for your company, HR Expertise can help. We’ve compiled a list of HR policies that are non-negotiable for your business, regardless of what growth stage it’s in.
- Equal Opportunity and Anti-Discrimination: You must outline your commitment to equal employment opportunities and prohibit discrimination based on gender, age, race, religion, or sexual orientation. In this policy, be clear your company does not discriminate against existing or potential employees due to any protected characteristic. Describe the steps you take to comply with relevant laws and regulations.
- Code of Conduct: A code of conduct will set forth your company’s expectations for ethical employee behaviour. Honesty, integrity, and respect for others should exist in your conduct code. Oftentimes, it includes guidelines for handling conflicts, protecting company assets, avoiding harassment and discrimination, and maintaining confidentiality. Be thorough with this policy.
- Workplace Safety: This policy tends to differ regarding the specifics, depending on the work environment and industry, but it outlines your company’s commitment to maintaining a healthy, safe work environment. It will also offer regulations that pertain to achieving that safety and comprehensively inform employees about how to avoid accidents and injuries, report hazards, and outline the safety equipment provided, if any.
- Harassment Prevention: As an employer, the safety of your employees is a top priority. Your dedication to preventing harassment and bullying is essential, and providing your employees with information on how to report and address such actions is instrumental to your operations. Outline, in detail, how to report incidents and let employees know how your HR department will handle each investigation.
- Attendance and Time Off: Employees need clarity when it comes to workplace attendance since they’ll reasonably need time to conduct personal matters. Your attendance policy outlines your attendance expectations and how your staff should go about requesting and taking time off.
- Performance Management Policy: Your performance management policy includes performance evaluations, goal setting, and productive, necessary employee feedback. Every company goes about this differently. Still, it should define your criteria for evaluating employees and the actions you’ll take to support development and improvement.
- Employee Benefits: Possibly the policy your employees will care the most about, the employee benefits program should be explained in detail, including flexible working arrangements, parental leave, employee assistance program, and other offerings. Clearly describe the eligibility criteria, enrolment process, and coverage options for everything you deliver.
- Remote Work Policy: Working remotely is taking over the world. While it’s impossible for some industries, any business that allows employees to work in a hybrid or fully remote setting should have a set collection of policies and expectations for remote employees. Include productivity, communication, data security, equipment, and technology guidelines.
Human Resources Expertise and Your HR Department
HR policies provide a framework for a fair, safe, and productive workplace and ensure employees understand your expectations from day one. Your policies should be reviewed regularly, ideally being updated as needed to ensure they remain relevant and effective for your company and staff.
Contact the HR Expertise team today if you need help constructing reliable, precise, sensible essential HR policies. We’re happy to help you save time and reduce risks via our HR hotline or on-site management. Book your free consultation now!