The Importance Of HR Policies and Procedures

The positive impact of having effective HR Policies and Procedures is often underestimated by many companies. They often feel they don’t need them as ‘they are a small business’ or they ‘are all friends working together’.

However, this couldn’t be further from the truth and is a very dangerous game to play. 

A business is made up of people with different personalities, each with their own individual desires, principles, ethics, expectations and problems. When all these differing elements come into the professional environment, all working together, if employees have no guidance to follow, this is when the problems arise if there are no set guidelines in place.

No matter what size your business is, or whether it is a new start up business or an established business, HR – together with its policies and procedures – are the real foundation and backbone of any company.

Furthermore, if you want to reduce your risk of an employment tribunal with an average minimum payment of £8,000, you need to read on.

HR provides An Effective Framework

HR provides an effective framework that enables business objectives and expected behaviours to be clear. HR also enables employees to be treated fairly and consistently and the operation to run smoothly.

This in turn results in a professional and pleasant working environment.

Forget it being about rules for the moment. Understand that this is also all about looking after the employees, recognising their needs, respecting their views and their rights and avoiding any conflict or ambiguity.

After all, employing staff who feel clear about what is required by the business, feel their needs are also being addressed and feel they are treated fairly and consistently. This can only prove to be a good thing.

The Importance Of Processes and Procedures

Having processes and procedures helps towards increasing the corporate image for your company which is paramount when wanting to attract customers and also attract and retain the right employees.

There will be a higher state of wellbeing in the workplace, less conflict, less misunderstanding.

In addition, as a business owner, having policies and procedures will help reduce your risk of being taken to an employment tribunal regarding areas such as discrimination or any breach of employment law.

It is almost impossible to defend a case stating as a business owner you do not allow such behaviour, when none of it is documented!

So what is recommended?

Firstly, the employee’s role. Has their role been officially defined and are they aware of what performance and behaviour is expected? Do they know what level of power they can exercise? and also what they can expect from the business.

This can all be covered with the following as a minimum;

• An Employee Handbook,
• Job Descriptions,
• Code of Conduct,
• Employment Contract,
• Set of HR policies.

If a business has no written rules, this effectively would result in no discipline or penalty for unacceptable behaviour. Whilst it may sound harsh, for a business to succeed there has to be penalties for inappropriate behaviour.

Think how difficult this could be in businesses that have no contracts of employment, no Employee Handbook. How would you prove that you were protecting your employees against bullying and harassment in the workplace?

What about discrimination?

Or worse still, what would you use as your defence of preventing such actions if taken to an employment tribunal?

Just think how damaging this could be for your employees and your business and how out of tune this working environment would be with the ultimate goal of the organisation.

How We Can Help

If you would like to get everything in place to make you legally compliant, add some structure to your team and increase your protection against employment tribunals, please either give me a call on 07553 362150 or complete the form below and I will call you!

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