HR Policy to Company Policy

June 27, 2017 | John Mauck | BambooHR
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Everyone turns to HR to come up with a new policy.   There is no doubt that many organizations have an employee handbook filled with policies that a human resource professional or attorney helped create.   How many times is human resources blamed for coming up with the latest and greatest of employee policies.   Now is the time to change that way of thinking.

Today’s human resource professional faces no shortage of ideas to help them build their organization.   More importantly, they are tasked with managing a diverse landscape, including generational differences in the workplace.   When faced with project management and dealing with change, we should consider integrating employee feedback whenever possible.  Design thinking methods can help.

Human Resources Police

One example where human resources is facing change is in dress code and appearance guidelines.   Are organizations reluctant to change their ways because of the customer experience or is it based on the thinking of yesterday?   Are managers truly monitoring and enforcing company dress code policies or are they making different decisions when faced with a reducing labor pool?   We must step back and ask the masses, if the rules make sense.

In a recent exchange with a manager in my own company, the manager pointed out that he hid employees hired outside the dress code policy from Human Resources.   Since all new hires are provided an orientation delivered by human resources, the employee would have been noticed by the members of the department.   However, the bigger concern is that the manager considered that the human resources department equaled a police raid.  The manager felt that the contraband (the employee’s appearance) must be hidden.

The Assistants to Policy Building

Human Resources needs to see itself as the assistants to the builders of company policy.   Employees, including managers must become a part of the building process.   We can employ design thinking methodology in our diagram for writing company policies. As the assistants, we are supporting the project with these steps:

  1. Identify the project of re-writing to policy and create the timeline.
  2. Help pull together the individuals for the project team.
  3. Keep the group focused on the task but don’t influence the outcome.
  4. Craft the final results for the team to approve.
  5. Present to company leaders, or better yet, help individuals from the group present.
  6. Test the ideas in a business area or unit.
  7. If the process works, move forward with a rollout to the entire organization.

Who is HR?

Human resource professionals ask employees to be engaged with the organization.  But we should be engaged with employees at all levels.   The next time you have a new policy.  You should begin to see it as that opportunity to re-write the book on how your organization create new policies.