Just how important are policies and procedures in a company? We get asked for assistance with designing policies and procedures for the people side of businesses all the time and we certainly spend a fair bit of time ensuring that businesses are compliant with Fair Work and the National Employment Standards
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If you have not completely zoned out at the mention of Fair Work and NES then please do continue reading…..
Policies and procedures are vital to a successful business of any size as they provide a framework from which to benchmark and hold people accountable to. HOWEVER, they tend to be relied upon far too much in companies as the crutch instead of focusing on the important key aspects that need to sit firmly underneath as well on top of this framework.
Policies and Procedures need to cover off not just compliance based information but also provide consistent insight into the specific cultural requirements and expectations that a business has of its people and on behalf of its people.
This translates into meaning that whilst the policy itself is important, so is the communication that goes with the rolling out of the policy.
For example, if a company is rolling out a policy specific to mobile phone usage or the use of GPS tracking or internet policies etc, it’s not enough to get HR to just write it and send it out. The communication pre cursor to allay fears and misconceptions is a vital piece of the story so as not to unnecessarily stir the pot.
The other key ingredient that tends to get lost in the desire to write policies is the key messaging of the business at a broader and more strategic level. It’s important to ensure that pulse checks are conducted regularly in the company so that employee engagement and strong culture are not overlooked when writing policies. Policies come second to sorting out the bigger picture of a business.
Listed below are the 5 MUST DO’s in policy writing for people:
- Involve key members of the team in the process of writing the policy- Yes, HR can do the hard yards but make sure that you get some buy in first.
- Be clear about the outcome and the WHY for the policy in the first place so that you can manage expectations
- Make sure it’s complaint with Fair Work and the NES
- Focus on the positives in the roll out
- Communicate effectively at the time of the rollout
“Our key message here is to avoid simply relying on documents to enforce what people should be talking about on a consistent basis. Have documents which are well written by people who know how to back up the key messages being enforced if required”.
As always, remember, ‘Energy equals outcome, so make sure that you are focusing on the right things’.
For HR that really makes a difference to your company and your people. Call us at Vouch for a chat, we’re here to help you