<i>Dear Workforce</i> Where Do I Begin When Formulating HR Policy?

July 22, 2001
Dear Workforce:
A midsize software company has hired me as human resources manager to help formulate its policies. How and where should I start?
- HR Manager, software/systems, Ahmedabad, India.
A Dear HR in India:
HR policies, like all HR programs and processes, should be driven off of your organization's overall HR strategic plan, and ultimately by the company's business strategy. For example, if the company espouses a flexible work culture and allows individual managers to establish policy within their own departments, HR policies should mirror these practices.
This might result in flexible benefit offerings such as a cafeteria plan, which allows employees to choose their array of benefits from a broader menu. Therefore, the best way to go about defining HR policies and procedures is to get an understanding of the organization's perspective on control vs. flexibility, the broader business goals and the desired role for the HR function itself. Additionally, you will want to determine the capability of managers in your organization with respect to communicating and enforcing policy. This will help you to understand whether HR will need to be a "policeman" or a strategic partner.
SOURCE: Mitch Stern, Deloitte & Touche, human capital group, Los Angeles, Calif., April 4, 2001.
LEARN MORE: "More Tips on Writing Policy Manuals"
The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.
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