HR policies and procedures – why does your department need them?

The answer is simple: humans.

While you can simply press “start” on a computer program and sit back, employees require formal HR policies and procedures to operate effectively and develop appropriately in their complex roles and workplaces.

Additionally, clearly defining your company’s rules and regulations for employees— and, of course, consistently following them— can protect your organization from costly litigation.

5 HR Policies and Procedures You Can Implement Immediately

1. Hiring and Recruitment Policies

Employees are the foundation of your company, and the development of smart HR procedures for hiring and recruitment ensures that the foundation is stable.

Every HR department should have clear policies and procedures in place for how to advertise positions, create applications, pre-qualify candidates, and move candidates along in the hiring process.

Designing smooth, engaging, professional hiring policies can help your company seal the deal with top talent. Companies that invest in a strong candidate experience improve their quality of hires by 70 percent. With the “war for talent” raging on, you can’t afford to lose top recruits.

2. Employee Data Protection Strategy

From onboarding documents and I-9 forms to benefits paperwork and performance evaluations, HR departments are responsible for an incredible amount of sensitive employee data.

For this reason, human resource best practices call for implementing employee data protection strategies and procedures. Failure to do so could result in costly lawsuits. For example, a federal judge recently finalized a $63 million settlement for a 2015 breach of data maintained by the Office of Personnel Management that compromised employee information.

One way to ensure that your employees’ data is secure is to use a centralized employee digital records management system. By eliminating paper and storing employee documents on the cloud, employee management software can securely share files, control who has access to files and when, and produce an audited trail of all actions on each document.

3. Employee Training and Development Policies

In a 2022 survey by Work Institute, 22% of employees indicated that opportunities for growth or promotion were their main reason for leaving a job, while 11% indicated a lack of training, resources, and empowerment. It’s apparent that training, development, and career growth are key to retaining employees.

Turnover is expensive—it’s estimated to cost a company 1.5-2 times the employee’s annual salary to replace them—so creating employee development strategies as part of HR procedures is critical. By providing employees and managers with employee training materials and clear paths for advancement, you’ll prevent top-level talent from moving on while improving your company’s bottom line.

4. Unlawful Discrimination Policies

It’s the responsibility of HR to protect employees from discrimination in the workplace. As proved by news headlines, not all companies take this responsibility seriously.

Since 2000, approximately 99% of Fortune 500 companies have paid settlements for one or more discrimination or harassment lawsuits. It’s critical that every HR department creates, communicates, and consistently enforces unlawful discrimination policies that prevent employees from suffering unfair treatment because of factors including their race, age, religion, health status, sexual orientation, and gender.

5. Disciplinary and Termination Policies

When an employee is underperforming, tensions can run high. Managers are often unsure of how to handle these situations and morale suffers when it appears that an employee was arbitrarily punished or terminated.

Instituting clear disciplinary and termination policies can help ensure fair treatment of your employees, instill confidence in managers and keep your company out of court. In addition to developing HR procedures for disciplinary action and termination proceedings, it’s important to create performance improvement plans with measurable goals.

Implementing Human Resources Policies and Procedures: Here’s the Best Place to Start

In order to focus on HR best practices and procedures, it’s important to minimize the time your team spends on employee digital records management. The best place to start is by establishing a document management system that facilitates smarter, more efficient workflows. Learn how digitizing your employee documents, making them available to access from home offices, and ensuring the security of paper and digital HR files is possible with Access Unify™ | Active File Service.