Sample HR policies, available on line or from any HR service provider or other organizations, are for guidelines ONLY.
Do not copy the contents word for word when you develop your HR policy manual. Strategize the formulation of HR Policies.
As a matter of interest, an HR Policy Manual is sometimes called Employee Handbook. Thus, you may find wordings such as "sample employee handbook." There are a lot of similarities but these are not exactly the same.
As an initial step, gather all information on HR matters in your organization, such as
terms and conditions of employment,
schemes, rules and procedures, among a host of other things.
The HR Policies Manual contents page is to facilitate
efficient use of the manual.
The welcome note from the chief executive officer introduces the organization and its activities. This is an important part of the manual.
Terms and Conditions of Employment
The terms and conditions of employment form a major part of your HR Handbook. This is clear from sample HR policies.
Draft these well in accordance with the policies and strategies that your organization wants to adopt. Determine whether you can fulfill these terms and conditions before deciding to incorporate them.
Current employment legislation may specify terms and
conditions which your organization must comply.
Ensure that the terms and conditions that you want to incorporate in your HR policy manual do not go against any of the statutory provisions. Penalties may ensue if there is failure to follow any provision.
Respective Duties Of Employer and Employees
As an employer, your organization owes certain duties to employees.
These are provided for under employment legislation and the common law, and whether expressed or implied.
As an employee, you owe duties to your employer. Most of these are stated as part of your HR policies. But there are implied terms and conditions, too.
Having these stipulated in your HR policies eliminate much doubt on the duties owed to one another. This contributes towards better employer-employee working relationship.
Your appointment letter lists out some benefits, monetary and non-monetary.
Other benefits are stated in your organization's HR Policies.
Health and Safety
If you check through sample HR policies, you will note that health and safety rules at the workplace are normally stated therein.
The laws on workplace health and health are imposed by occupational, safety and health legislation. Usually termed as "OSHA", these have statutory effect. Organizations cannot ignore these laws at will or as they like.
A lot of organizations are caught by these legal provisions which identify the types of organizations by way of the nature of activities carried out and the number of employees.
Such legislation also impose the condition that organizations must appoint the appropriate number of safety officers based on certain conditions such as the extent of operations over several different areas or installations.
The formation of Safety Committees is a requirement under these safety regulations when the conditions require their existence.
Educate yourself and your people, especially those in supervisory positions, on the provisions of OSHA. Avoid getting caught by following its provisions.
When you insert safety provisions in your policy manual and form safety committees, you assure your people that you care for their well-being.
This matter is too important to omit from your HR Policies Manual.
Inserting it can reduce or prevent a lot of misunderstanding and conflicts with regard to performance management.
However, it is preferable that you make available the details of the performance management system and procedures in a separate guidebook. This can include the rewards system.
State only the most important matters on performance management in the employee handbook. You can re-state these in the separate booklet.
Your HR Policies Manual can incorporate disciplinary rules and procedures.
But the better option is to have a separate Guidebook on Employee Disciplinary Rules and Regulations.
Incorporating these matters in your HR Policies Manual
will make it too bulky and cumbersome.
Review Policies based on contents of new Sample HR Policies
Formulating your HR Policies is a step towards improving your channel of communication with your employees.
Review your HR Policies from time to time. Your strategies may have changed. The relevant legislation may have been amended. New laws may imposed new employment terms and conditions. The courts may have changed the law by their decisions.
Thus, it is clear that your organization cannot adopt the contents of any sample HR policy manual, "lock, stock and barrel."
Study the contents of sample HR policies, check and verify, cross-refer, prepare draft, check and check again until you are satisfied.
However, beware of information overload which may make you lose track of your objective.