What Is the Meaning of an HR Policy?

by Kyra Sheahan; Updated September 26, 2017
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Policies are ground rules that keep people and processes in order. HR, or human resource, policies are those that are written for the workplace, and must be adhered to by employees.

Definition

According to US Legal, HR policies are official guidelines and rules that are put into place by a company’s HR department to hire, train, evaluate and reward staff.

Function

US Legal explains that HR policies serve to prevent or clarify misunderstandings between employers and employees, which have to do with rights and obligations in the workplace. Employees use HR policies for guidance and direction if there are any questions about office processes or expectations.

Significance

Establishing consistency across the organization will help employers maintain order in the workplace. HR policies also serve to protect employers in the court of law. If employees bring their employers to suit, the court may look to the company’s HR policies to protect the organization (or protect the employee if HR policies are deficient).

Types

HR policies include behavioral, ethical and professional codes that employees must abide by. They also include policies on training requirements, performance evaluations, benefits and wages, overtime, breaks and termination protocols.

About the Author

Kyra Sheahan has been a writer for various publications since 2008. Her work has been featured in "The Desert Leaf" and "Kentucky Doc Magazine," covering health and wellness, environmental conservatism and DIY crafts. Sheahan holds an M.B.A. with an emphasis in finance.

Photo Credits

  • Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images