The following steps should be taken when formulating or revising HR policies:
- Gain understanding of the Corporate culture of the organisation and its shared values
- Analyse existing policies both the formal and informal ones
- Analyse the external influenceg. Government policies, rules and regulations, social and economic trends
- Asses any areas where new policies are needed or existing policies are inadequate
- Check with managers, preferably starting from the top, on their views about HR policies and where they think they could be improved.
- Seek the views of union representatives or staff associations representatives
- Analyse the information obtained and prepare draft policies first
- Consult, discuss and agree with management and union representatives after which final policies are prepared
- Obtain approval of the management and Board of Directors
- Communicate the policies with guidance notes on their implementation as required. Supplement this communication with training.
Introduction of a policy manual may be met with some resistance from employees who may wish to retain the status quo.
You can pre-empt resistance to a large extent by: –
- Understanding the culture of the people and their reservations (vested interests). You should anticipate the changes that the policy manual will bring as well as the people it will affect directly and indirectly. Take steps to accommodate some objections in your plans and gather evidence to counter others. e. ensure that what you do fits in the strategy and culture of the organization.
- Anticipating reactions – try to see the change from other people’s point of view and anticipate their fears. You should then allow time for their reactions to take their course and plan presentations and concession (areas of compromise) accordingly.
- Building trust –by consulting the employees before formulation. This prevents opposition, fear and emotional distrusts. Building trust can be done through joint consultative meetings, brainstorming sessions, surveys and feedback schemes. I.e. involve the employees and their representatives from the beginning.
- Discussing the content of the policy manual-i.e. support the policy manual being introduced by facts and explanations. Train /hold a seminar on the policy to sensitize employees and enlist their support. In the training session discuss the policy content in detail and incorporate any ideas into the action plan. Ensure that people make suggestions and that they do not feel unimportant or ignored. Emphasize the gains from the policy and how the gains compensate for the implied loses.
- Preparing staff for the launch of the HR manual through proper communication. Inform them in good time of the intention and publicise the launch of the policy. Use counselling to those who may be anxious on what the policy is all about in order to allay their fears. i.e. maximise concern for both the organisation and the employees (empathise)
- Considering the timing of the launch. Structure up the climate of the activity so that individuals are “freed up and supportive” rather than “anxious or defensive”. I.e. climate setting.
- Using “action team approach” for implementation and review. For effective implementation there is need to set up an “ad hoc” team to oversee the launch/implementation. The composition should be high level managers to direct and coordinate the activities i.e. use the line managers buy-in approach.
- Having an action plan- i.e. make a launch action plan
- Have a check list
- Plan logistics and coordination
- Plan costs
- Have alternative plans i.e. anticipate resistance and how to counter it
- Use diagrams to illustrate e.g. flow charts
- Have a Gantt chart to plan time