Human Resource Manual is a Communication Tool

The Human Resource Manual is an important communication tool. If properly drafted, this would state all the important policies on human resources in your organization. It is an important reference document for both management and employees.

Some call it a Policy and Procedures Manual or an Employee Handbook. Are these two documents the same?

The HR Manual usually contains the following provisions:

  • Introduction
  • Welcome statement from the chief executive officer (CEO) or managing director
  • Definition Section
  • General statement of policy
  • Transfer Policy
  • Appointment
  • Click HERE for 'Sample Appointment Letter'
  • Employee's Personal Information
  • Work Attendance
  • Use / Misuse of Company property
  • Dress code
  • Health and safety Rules
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Performance Management / Appraisal
  • Compensation and Salary and Benefits
  • Allowances
  • Working days and hours
  • Holidays
  • Vacation Leave
  • Sick Leave / Medical Leave
  • Maternity Benefit
  • Group Insurance Cover
  • Other Benefits
  • Retirement Plan
  • Transfer / Secondment
  • Termination of Employment

An Appointment Policy forms part of HR Policy. Click HERE for sample HR policy.

Another important policy is on Code of Ethics that specify what are right behaviors in the workplace.

Acknowledgment by Employees

Every employee has to acknowledge receipt of a copy of the Human Resources Policy Manual. This is to ensure that employees will have first-hand information on the organization's HR policies. You can use an “I Agree Form” for this purpose.

Importance of Written Policies

Having the policies in written form promotes understanding of policies among management and employees. People can always refer to the Human Resource Manual whenever there are doubts or disputes.

You can get additional information on this here.

Inter alia, the Employee Manual:

  • provides the framework governing the relationship between your organization and its employees.
  • gives guidance for managers and employees on work expectation and other aspects of work
  • is becoming a business necessity

Organization's Vision, Mission and Values

It is good if your Human Resource Manual states the vision, mission and values by which your organization carries out its business activities.

  • A Vision Statement indicates what your organization wants to be in the short-term and long-term. This is a "moving target" that is capable of being attained but moves further as your organization reaches it.
  • A Mission Statement outlines what your organization is NOW. It includes your customers, critical processes and desired level of performance. Management and employees are internal customers, others external customers or stakeholders.
  • Values reflect your organization's culture and priorities. They include ethical values such as integrity and honesty. They relate to the standards of service provided such as speed, accuracy and goodwill.

Click HERE for info on designing a TEAM Mission Statement

Size of Employee Handbook

  • Determine how detailed your Employee Handbook or Manual should be.
  • Insert lengthy provisions as Appendices. Make a brief statement inside the main body of the Handbook. Specify where employees can obtain or access the full version or detailed information.

Communication and Implementation of HR Policy Manual

  • Clearly explain to every level of management and employees.
  • Do this before the Policy Manual is implemented. Give further explanation after this if necessary.
  • Give a copy the Human Resource Manual to every employee and record receipt of it.

HR Management Ethical Standards

Apart from the Employee Handbook organizations especially those that have the intention to expand operations worldwide need to implement an HR Code of Ethics that takes into consideration international ethical concerns.

Read this Amnesty International article on the importance of the United Nations norms on human rights responsibilities of businesses.

Revision and Amendment

Determine the regularity of amending your Human Resource Manual.

  • Re-issue your Manual annually if this is the right thing to do.
  • You can choose to issue a circular on any amendment made.
  • This is cheaper.

Thoroughly discuss the intended amendments with legal advice sought where there are doubts.

Then give a clear explanation to employees. State the reasons why the amendments are necessary.

Implement Human Resource Manual To Avoid Many HR-Related Problems

Why Must You Implement a Policy Manual?

Implementing your own Human Resources Manual will avoid a lot of misunderstanding between the organization and employees.

It can save valuable time which you, your executives and employees can utilize more productively. And this is good for your organization.

Make use of the occasion to formulate and implement a Human Resource Manual to effectively communicate the importance of strategies in human resource management and what you expect from people.

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