The most valuable resource an organization has is its human capital, meaning the resources, talent and expertise of its workforce. Human resources policies are, therefore, key elements to providing workplace structure and guidelines for the most effective use of human capital. The implications for human resources policies mean utilizing human capital the right way can result in employee engagement, job satisfaction, and most importantly, an impressive bottom line.
Recruitment and Selection
Policies regarding recruitment and selection are the framework for making decisions in the hiring process. Employment specialists who understand employment law can shape recruitment and selection policies based on federal, state and local regulations pertaining to fair employment practices. Fundamental to creating a recruitment and selection policy is an understanding of and appreciation for the laws that underlie fair employment practices. The recruitment and selection process is where an employer has the first opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to equal opportunity employment. Recruitment and selection policies are essential to building a productive workforce -- from attracting qualified applicants to hiring the best talent possible for the organization's needs. These policies contain elements of how to source candidates, attract qualified applicants, explain the essential job functions and determine which applicants' qualifications are suitable for roles within the company.
Training and Development
The organization and its workforce benefit from training and development policies. Human resources departments staffed with training experts often have policies that offer training for skills improvement, professional development and leadership training that complement the company's succession plan. Training and development policies are important for demonstrating company interest in employees' developmental needs and preparing existing leadership for taking on more responsible and higher-level positions as part of the succession plan. The company benefits from providing training that enhances existing workplace skills because its result is higher productivity. Employees benefit from training and development policies because they demonstrate the company's investment in its employees. Employers that provide training and development to every level of the workforce often experience greater levels of workplace job satisfaction.
The implications of workplace safety policies cannot be overstated. Employees are comfortable with company policies designed to protect their well-being. A risk or safety manager develops policies based, in part, on federal and state regulations governed by agencies like the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Safety policies range from guidelines for operating complex machinery to handling incidents of workplace violence. Workplace safety is such a concern for some employers that they reward employees for injury-free months because it demonstrates employees adhere to workplace safety rules. Employees who work for a company that implements strict guidance for workplace safety believe the company has a vested interested in its human capital.
Company leaders are responsible for providing employees with the necessary tools and information to help them understand the company’s performance expectations. This means human resources policies pertaining to performance management are an essential part of supervisory and management duties. The importance of performance management policies also extend to employees in that these policies affect their progression within the company and employee performance contributes to organizational goals. In other words, performance management policies are key elements in driving organizational success. Performance management policies also establish a platform for recognizing employee contributions. Absent effective and consistent policies for performance management, companies can experience low productivity and job satisfaction, along with high turnover rates.
Developing and implementing human resources policies are essential HR responsibilities. The importance of human resource policy development cannot be overlooked. Employers who design policies that serve the interests of the company and its employees are highly regarded employers.
- U.S. Office of Personnel Management; Strategic Human Resources Management: Aligning With the Mission; September 1999
- Human Resources at UC Berkeley: Performance Management -- Definition
- University of Connecticut Department of Human Resources: HR Policies & Procedures Manual
- HR Policy Association: Who We Are