Why Every Employer Needs Good HR Policies

Workplace Policies

Inappropriate, out of date, poorly drafted and not company specific. These are some of the issues that arise when the Workforce Guardian consulting team review workplace policies for businesses. But those companies have a big advantage. They bothered to ask us to review and revise their policies and processes. Not doing so leaves businesses exposed and with nothing to rely on to solve workplace problems appropriately.

What is a workplace policy?

Workplace policies are statements which underpin how workplace related issues will be managed within your business. Workplace policies act as guidelines and provide boundaries on how the business deals with its day to day operational issues and how it complies with legislation, regulation, and codes of practice. Well written policies help employers manage employees more effectively by clearly defining acceptable and unacceptable behaviour and standards, as well as setting out the implications of not complying with those standards.

What policies should your business have?

You could have a few or an entire handbook containing a variety of policies depending on your operational requirements and the industry in which you operate. Some of the subjects we strongly recommend are those relating to work health and safety, manual handling, conduct in the workplace, customer service, dress code, no smoking, work station set-up and the list could go on.

Benefits of workplace policies

Often when speaking with clients, many business owners complain there are too many rules and regulations, and the legislative obligations they have to comply with are unfairly burdensome. In reality, such "burdensome" workplace policies and processes should be viewed as useful mechanisms to improve your workplace culture and the reputation of your business. Clear and well drafted policies will provide employees with clarity on how they conduct themselves and perform their duties.

Further, employers may seek to rely on those policies and procedures during disciplinary action, or even if an employee makes an unfair dismissal or adverse action claim against the business. They evidence the business has processes and procedures and can help a business defend its actions.

Action List

Utilise well written workplace policies to the advantage of your business and its reputation.

  • Audit your current policies:

- do they cover all relevant issues?

- are they current and appropriately drafted?

  • Have them independently reviewed on an annual or biannual basis.
  • Communicate any amendments to all employees and revisit them on a regular basis.
  • Entrench workplace policies as part of any onboarding process.

If you have any doubts or queries, always seek assistance and advice to avoid any unnecessary and preventable problems.

Need help with workplace policies?

Call Workforce Guardian on 1300 659 563 or visit /features/hr-policies/