HR policies are a written source of guidance on how a wide range of issues should be handled within an employing organisation, incorporating a description of principles, rights and responsibilities for managers and employees. 
Links between HR policies, procedures and strategy 
HR policies should flow from HR strategies, and complement HR procedures: 
An HR strategy is a statement or framework determining how HR can support business or organisational objectives, focusing on longer-term people issues and macro-concerns about structure, values, commitment and matching resources to future need. Read our Strategic human resource management factsheet. 
HR policies provide general and practical advice and guidance for managers and staff on a range of employment issues. 
HR procedures support and supplement HR policies where appropriate by giving a step-by-step account of specific arrangements that apply in particular circumstances (for example, setting time limits within which meetings must take place). 
Why introduce HR policies? 
It’s perhaps more important than ever for HR to foster cultures of trust, fairness and inclusion. HR policies play an important role in supporting such cultures by outlining the responsibilities of both employer and employee in the employment relationship. They can impact on employee motivation, organisation reputation and the ability to attract and retain talent. Introducing these policies can support the attitudes and behaviours needed for sustainable performance, creating mutual benefits for employees and organisations. 
HR policies can also speed the decision-making process by ensuring that clear guidance is readily available to cover a range of issues. Most importantly for many organisations, HR policies can help avoid involvement with employment tribunal claims by providing guidance for managers that accurately reflects the prevailing regulations. 
Certain HR policies and procedures are specifically needed to comply with legal requirements. For example, a written health and safety policy is required for any organisation with five or more employees, while there are also important legislative provisions surrounding the setting out of formal disciplinary and grievance procedures. 
Even where a policy or procedure isn't specifically required by law, employers often find it helpful to have a policy in place to provide clear guidance that reflects the legal framework for handling the issue in question and it also helps employees to be clear about the organisation’s stance on a particular subject. 
Organisations introduce or review specific HR policies for a range of reasons including: 
to reflect and comply with existing or new legislation and case law 
to support business strategy 
to follow the latest developments in effective people management 
to deal with internal change 
to comply with head office/parent-company guidance to keep up with competitors – for example, reward policies may be reviewed in order to attract or retain employees when operating in a different international market 
for smaller organisations, a desire to develop a more formal and consistent approach that will meet their needs as they grow. 
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Tagged as: HR Policies
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