Why HR policies are important? This is the age of specialization. Specialization has created division of labor in to four parts, namely HR, production, marketing and finance. Literally HR department rules the roost among the other departments in the organization. It controls the workforce of an organization. Before stepping in to its policies, let’s understand why those were formed and what role particularly those played in the management of the organization.
In the bygone era of Industrial revolution, industrialists simply took the workers as machines. They treated the employees without any definitive procedures for compensation. Especially at the time of world war-I, there were hardly any provisions for the welfare of employees. Gradually, changes began to occur after the world war-I. Evolution of Personnel management came from the factors such as size of the organization, professional management, and public ownership of organization by issue of shares and debentures, government legislation, management theories, job content and training, technology, education, research and human resources. Subsequent changes were incorporated in the forms of government legislations for welfare measures.
The birth of policies came only when Government decided to step up its pressure strongly in the areas of employees’ welfare and supervision. HR policies played an important role in the welfare of employees and supervision as well. Actually the HR policies were not determined by the HR department of an organization. The department initiated proposals and defined principles and also made new version of policy measures and finally the executive management of the organization approved them. Policies were fixed as per the laws of the government of the nation.
Well-drafted HR policies help the organization in solving employees’ disputes and grievances. Organizations are advised to maintain policy manuals because in the absence of written, clear-cut policy manuals, the management may come under legal trouble. Let’s see what are the important policies adhered to the management of staff by the Human resources department.
- Employment Policies or recruitment policy of the organization- Employment policies depend on size of the organization, employment conditions in the community and location of the organization, the organization’s ability to keep good manpower, working conditions and salary packages, rate of growth of organization.
- Employee benefits policies- Employee benefit policies state the design and maintenance of salary structures, the operation of salary progression systems, the administration and control of salary reviews and design of and operation of other allowances and perks.
- Conduct Policies- Conduct policies refer to the guidelines in employees’ discipline. Disciplinary regulations state orderliness, obedience and maintenance of proper subordinating among employees and check or restraint on the liberty of individual. These policies also state suspension, dismissal and retrenchment in case of disciplinary and other situations.
- Personal responsibilities policies- Policies regarding personal responsibilities state the accountability of the employees in maintaining timeliness in performance, responsibility towards maintenance of official properties, responsibilities in carrying the official goods, responsibility in keeping and maintaining official secrets and documents etc.
- Pay practices policies- Pay practices policies determine wage and salary administration, wage determination and fixation policies. Such policies speak of concept of minimum wage, actual wage, living wage and factors for wage determination taking into consideration capacity of the organization to pay as per the capacity of labor to pay, rising cost of living and level of comparable pay based on industry-cum-region people etc.
- Employee absence policies- Employee absence policies state the rules about provisions of taking leave, leave encashment, types of leave, leave travel allowances etc.
- Reimbursement policies- Reimbursement policies state about the time period within which reimbursement of expenses, perks and wages of employees is made. It also says about the unavoidable delays in case of compelling situations.
- Work area policies- Work areas policies are the rules on authority and responsibilities the employees have to take up. It also explains the ground rules about delegation of authority, alignment of responsibilities and authority, job duty and behavior of the employees.
Discrepancies and deviations made by the organization-
- Absence of clear-cut, written HR policies- Although Government tries to put pressure on keeping clear-cut policies regarding HR, most of the organizations shy away from this. The reason is they think they can take advantage of it, in case of any dispute with the employee.
- Use of diplomatic language in Policies- The language in all such policies remains vague. You may say such polices take too much advantage of Auxiliary verbs in English grammar for there are many uses of the words like may, could, can, may, might, which can be helpful in interpreting things otherwise in case of disputes with the employee in his service period.
- Policies not favorable towards Human resource development- Policies are created just to comply with the laws of land not for the sake of employees’ welfare.
- Non-compliance with the basic things of employees’ welfare-In developing countries, a large number of organizations disobey the rules even for the basic things of employees’ like maintaining provident fund gratuity provisions. Although it is mandatory by law and accounts for the employees’ provident fund exist, companies are very indifferent towards contributing and regular depositing of provident fund dues.
- Irregularities in the work area policies- Although companies agree by written terms with the employees regarding the nature of work. Management keeps on deviating from it by giving burdens of additional work without maintaining provisions for paying overtime wages.
- Forceful termination of employees in employment policies- Companies resort to forceful termination in case of closure and insolvency of the organization. They do not even stick to the rightful compensation procedure in case of such situations.