A strong HR policy sets the tone for your staff
Sep 17 2012, 19:55 | By SME Mentor
In today's exciting world of business and commerce, there are dreams aplenty. There is no dearth of vision, innovative ideas and hunger to change the stodgy old system in favour of a dynamic one.
1. Working hours and weekly holidays
Define some very basic rules and regulations. Regardless of how basic this seems, it is crucial. Determine the number of hours a day an employee is expected to work. This is usually specific to departments and roles, and can be altered to suit business requirements. Also, prepare a plan for weekly holidays. In case of direct customer-facing businesses with a need to work on weekends, chart out alternative weekly holidays.
2. New recruits and exit policies
This constitutes employee-processing, when new candidates sign up with you and an existing employee resigns. You need policies for new candidates, which include background checks, verification of educational details, relieving details from previous employers, etc, and norms for exit procedures such as handing over of responsibilities, notice period, etc.
3. Leave & attendance
Every employee must be eligible for Privilege Leave (PL), Sick Leave (SL) and Maternity Leave (ML), for female staff. The number of days in each category can be decided at the organisation's discretion, keeping general practices in India in mind. PL is also called Earned Leave and is awarded according to the number of days an employee has served the company. ML is paid leave (minimum 80 continuous days) mandatorily offered to women employees and enforced by the Central Government. "In our company, we consulted a lawyer and spoke to a few experts in the HR field before defining our policies," says *Sabitha, who runs a placement consulting company.
4. Salary & employee benefits
This is the big one. This category includes salary compensation along with general guidelines for bonus, annual increments, loans against salary, provident fund and gratuity, which need to be very specific and very clearly articulated to employees. Benefits like housing rental allowance, monthly medical allowance, travel allowance and health insurance offer a feel-good factor among employees and should be included, depending on the potential of the business and size of the organisation.
5. Work culture
This is probably the most ignored HR policy. It encompasses minor details like dress code, to serious ones like confidentiality, customer misbehaviour and sexual harassment at work. Design these policies with care, empathy and keeping in mind cultural background.
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