Lara was very excited after getting a job offer from a globally-renowned MNC as a sales manager. She was very proud of her efforts and hard work that helped her land a job in her dream company. However, within three months of joining that organization, Lara left, citing high job burnout and low morale.
Lara’s example shows the importance of employee engagement to retain a talented workforce. Companies that don’t care for their personnel ultimately lose their qualified professionals and usually underperform. For instance, according to a recent study by Oxford University, happy workers are 13% more productive and work hard to exceed their employers’ expectations.
To keep their workforce happy, companies should introduce HR policies that could encourage employees towards growth and prosperity. We have presented five crucial HR policies to achieve higher employee engagement in this context.
Let’s explore these policies one by one.
What are HR Policies?
Organizations are governed under a set of rules and procedures defined under HR policies. These comprehensive documents represent formal regulations and guidelines that govern employee relationships. On the one hand, they describe the core functions of the HR department, while on the other hand, HR policies describe employees’ rights and responsibilities.
In other words, HR policies are SOP documents applied to permanent employees of an organization. Companies keep updating these guidelines with time as per their HR needs. For staff’s convenience, these policies are divided into different categories, such as:
- Recruitment and Selection
- Health, Safety, and Security
- Performance Evaluation
- Workforce Management
- Technology Adoption
Why Companies Need HR Policies?
The ultimate goal of every employer is to build a talented workforce that can contribute to organizational growth. To achieve this goal, companies define a set of rules and regulations that outline uniformity, justice, and rationality in HR practices.
By drafting and implementing HR policies, employers can:
- Fulfill the needs and expectations of their workers
- Outline ways to address employees’ grievances, complaints, and issues
- Focus on professional growth and development of their staff members
- Provide employees with adequate and fair compensation
- Establish a supportive and positive work environment
- Maintain discipline at the workplace for operational efficiency
How to Write an Effective HR Policy?
An effective HR policy should have a clear structure with well-organized sections. Start by conducting thorough research and in-depth analysis to identify policy objectives. Then, they should decide on the content tone, language, and structure. Ensure the policy covers all aspects of the respective section and there are no ambiguities for the readers.
Once the initial draft is ready, seek feedback from HR managers, team leads, and all stakeholders. Make necessary adjustments if required based on their feedback. Finally, send your policy to the CEO for approval and communicate it with all your team members.
5 Essential HR Policies For Organizations
Every organization must implement these 5 HR policies for higher employee engagement and retention rates:
1. Code of Conduct
Employees are the face of an organization. They build their company’s image even when they are not at work. So, employees must regulate all their in-office and out-of-hours actions through a code of conduct.
A code of conduct policy regulates staff behavior inside and outside the organization. It defines what is acceptable and what is not, which actions are prohibited within the office premises, and what disciplinary action could be taken for violation. For instance, employers can take strict action against workers involved in harassment, bullying, alcohol and drug usage.
Some companies have also started regulating the social media usage of their employees. If anyone uploads an inappropriate picture, leaks sensitive information online, or makes racial or offensive remarks, the organization holds the right to take disciplinary action.
2. Work From Home Policy
Work from home gained popularity amid the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic. When the government imposed a shutdown, companies asked their employees to stay back and work from home. Since then, remote work has now become a new norm.
Today, nearly 13% of employees in the US are fully remote, while 28% prefer a hybrid model, according to Forbes. Besides, approximately 22% of the American workforce will be working remotely by 2025, showed a survey conducted by Upwork. Hence, companies need a work-from-home policy to regulate remote employees and get their desired results.
Employers can specify when employees can request work from home in this policy. They can define relevant procedures or authorized persons to manage these requests. Besides, the policy also mentions timings for remote workers and specific guidelines to maintain uninterrupted communication.
3. Benefits and Compensation Policy
Salaries and other remunerations are good ways to keep employees happy and engaged. Workers demand market-competitive wages from their employers and want to get paid on time. In addition to these wages, they also need several other benefits to sustain a living standard and a healthy work-life balance.
Hence, companies should define their pay structure for different roles. Employees should be paid based on their position, experience, competencies, and expertise. Salaries should comply with international labor laws and local government policies.
Besides, employees can also offer performance-based bonuses to their teams. These bonuses encourage employees to work hard and surpass their managers’ expectations. The benefits and compensation policy must include all these elements, i.e., salaries, bonuses, provident fund, and health insurance.
4. Leave Policy
As per international labor laws, employees must be entitled to paid time off to spend quality time with their families. Continuous workload without any breaks leads to job burnout. Eventually, they start underperforming and eventually switch their jobs.
Hence, employers must have a comprehensive leave policy. It should provide workers with detailed information on the type of leave such as annual, sick, casual, parental, etc.
The leave policy should also define a proper mechanism for requesting leave. A better way is to use automated leave management software like Smart Workforce. The company should describe the method of requesting leave with the Smart Workforce. This will have a significant impact on employee engagement and overall satisfaction.
5. Safety and Health Policy
The safety and security of employees is paramount for every organization. Workers are vulnerable to workplace injuries that could risk their lives. It is the responsibility of employers to outline procedures for effectively managing workplace incidents to establish a safe work environment.
A health and safety policy describes SOPs all employees must follow in emergencies. While drafting this policy, companies should comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act, which describes methods to secure employees from injuries or accidents.
Employers can also use cloud-based incident management software like Smart Workforce for better results. The policy should define how workers report workplace incidents with the mobile app. Besides, managers should also understand the incident management workflow. This step will help organizations minimize the impact of incidents and secure their workplace.
Mental satisfaction is as necessary for employees as water is to fish. No company can survive until it takes care of its personnel and keeps them happy. Once your workers are satisfied, they put all their effort towards the growth of your business. Conversely, dissatisfied and disengaged team members don’t trust their employers and experience high job burnout.
There are many ways to achieve higher employee engagement. Employers can give high salaries, offer flexibility, and empower their personnel to make decisions. To define the scope and boundaries of these initiatives, companies should also draft HR policies covering all these aspects. These comprehensive documents are essential to govern an organization and maintain discipline in the workforce.
We discussed five different types of HR policies that employers must implement to win their workers’ loyalty. These policies can boost team morale and help companies build a talented workforce.