Business Category Business: career motivation and tips to move ahead

Purpose of HR Policies & Procedures

Policies and procedures are part of many organisations, from elementary schools to Fortune 500 companies.

The human resources department's policies and procedures are in place to serve the organisation, protect employees and develop trustworthy relationships between management and staff. If you are working on developing your human resources policy and procedure manual or handbook, consider the purpose of each policy you include in your document.


One of the purposes in having clearly communicated human resources policies and procedures is to provide a consistency in message and administration of the policies of the organisation.

If two employees in different departments are consistently late or not meeting performance standards, having set policies for employee discipline ensures that all employees are treated consistently, which helps protect your organisation in the event of a lawsuit or complaint. Federal laws, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) says that all employees should be treated equally, and clear human resources policies and procedures can help you achieve that mandate.

Supervision Tool

In a large organisation, the human resources director or generalist may not be available to assist in every incident of employee discipline or to answer employee questions on leave policies or other human resources-related questions.

A supervisor who understands and has easy access to the written policies of the organisation can answer employee questions and grievances and handle minor disciplinary issues without always involving the human resources department. If an employee questions the supervisor's handling of an employment issue, the supervisor can remind the employee of the organizational policies, helping the supervisor maintain authority and the appearance of being unbiased.

Employee Information

Employees can find information on their own using the policies and procedures manual or online human resources policies and procedures handbook. To ensure equal access, give each employee access or a hard copy of the policies and ask her to sign a statement acknowledging receipt of the procedures. An employee with questions on the definition of sexual harassment, work hours, dress code or vacation time can find answers to her own questions. In addition, complete policies also give the employee information on who to contact with concerns about her employment.

Policy Administration

In the event of a challenge to a policy on tardiness, work standards, discrimination or other employee relations issue, your organisation's human resources policies and procedures manual can serve as an exhibit or example of how you administer policies consistently and fairly.

As a human resources professional, use the policies to respond to questions and direct supervisors on the proper procedure to document employee disciplinary problems. Keep your policies and procedures up to date by paying attention to changes in federal and state laws relating to employees such as family leave, payroll administration or discrimination policies.