Rules for Drafting Policy
I. Defining policy and procedure

·A policy is a formal statement of a principle or rule that members of an organization must follow. Each policy addresses an issue important to the organization's mission or operations.
·A procedure tells members of the organization how to carry out or implement a policy . Policy is the "what" and the procedure is the "how to."
·Policies are written as statements or rules. Procedures are written as instructions, in logical, numbered steps.
II. Essential D policy topics
Prejudice, discrimination, victimization issues

III. Essential content of a practical, useful policy
  • Policy name
  • Effective date of the policy and date of any revisions
  • Purpose of the policy (what it is intended to promote or achieve)
  • Main policy statement
  • Definitions of any key concepts or terms used in the policy
  • Eligibility or scope (what groups of employees are covered by the policy)
  • Positions in the organization responsible for implementing and monitoring the policy
IV. Common features of a practical policy

Here are some important features that make a human resources policy easy to interpret and use.
Good organization and layout
  • The policy is logically divided into numbered sections, which are clearly labeled.
  • Pages are numbered and total number of pages given (Example: "Page 6 of 8.")
  • The policy and section name appear on each page.
  • The policy is set in clear, readable type.
  • There is space between paragraphs and around the margins to rest the eye.
Relevant content
  • The policy addresses an issue that is current and relevant to the organization.
  • The purpose of the policy is clearly stated.
Clear language
  • The language is easy to understand and as free of jargon as possible.
  • Terms are used consistently. (For example, "payment" is not used in one place, and "remuneration" in another.)
  • Special terms are defined.
  • Sentences and paragraphs are short.
Fairness and flexibility
  • The policy statement leaves room for managers to be flexible and respond to individual circumstances.
  • The content and wording is unbiased and encourages fair, consistent treatment.
Legal compliance

The policy complies with:
  • employment standards and other Governmental and State legislation
  • terms of any collective agreements.
5. Role of the Board of Directors in policy development

Boards can play a variety of roles in HR policy development. The important thing is to clearly define that role. The Board may form a human resources committee to write policies and procedures, or they may delegate this duty to the Executive Director. Often it is the responsibility of the Board to give final approval on all policies. Also, the Board may set a time frame for reviewing HR policies, or they may delegate this responsibility.

6. How to write HR policies and procedures
  1. Identify the important policy issues for your organization
    Working with the members of your organization responsible for policy development, make a list of the policy issues you need to address. Consider:
    • current laws
    • funder requirements
    • any collective agreements that affect your organization
    • issues that address important concerns and support what your organization represents
  2. Ask yourselves these questions about each potential policy:
    • How have we handled this issue in the past?
    • Does the size of our workforce justify having a policy about this issue?
    • Are we willing to invest the time it takes to keep the policyup to date?
    • What do we hope to accomplish with this policy? What are the outcomes?
    • Will this policy foster something our organization believes in? (for example, if an organization has a "family first" philosophy, it might want to have family-positive policies, such as flexible work hours)
  3. Collect information
    Collect information on past practices in your organization. Research policy models in organizations similar to yours.
  4. Draft the policy
    Write a first draft. Include the following content:
    • Policy name
    • Effective date of the policy and date of any revisions
    • Approval status (At this stage, the status is "DRAFT.")
    • References (List other policies and documents related to this policy.)
    • Purpose of the policy (what it is intended to promote or achieve)
    • Main policy statement
    • Definitions of any key concepts or terms used in the policy
    • Eligibility or scope (what groups of employees are covered by the policy)
    • Positions in the organization responsible for implementing and monitoring the policy
    • Procedures for carrying out the policy, written in numbered steps.
Include the following formatting to help the reader navigate:
    • Section names and numbers
    • Page numbers and total number of pages (Example: "Page 6 of 8.")
    • Headers and footers.
  1. Circulate and revise the policy
    Give a copy of the draft to each key member of your organization involved in policy development.

    Discuss and agree upon revisions. Prepare the final draft.
  2. Get approvals needed to put policy into effect
    If your Board is responsible for giving the final approval it is often done with a formal, recorded motion. The motion can include a date in the future when the Board wishes to review the policy again.

    Update the policy to show the approval date.
7. Communicating HR policy to the organization

Consider the following strategies as part of your communication plan to ensure employees understand human resources policies.
Employee handbooks

An employee handbook describes the organization's policies and procedures. It may have a less formal style, and highlight only the key points of each policy . It may also contain general information about the organization and its priorities. Include a list of the different job classifications, whether positions are covered by a collective agreement and bargaining status for all groups of employees. Readers can refer to this when they are reading the "Scope" or "Eligibility" section of a policy.
An employee handbook can be a useful orientation tool and an important part of the employee's relationship to the employer:
  • It provides a framework for fairness and consistency
  • It encourages compliance with the law throughout the organization
  • It promotes the organization's philosophy
  • It is a tool for communication and accountability
  • It saves management time spent on clarifying expectations
  • A well-designed employee handbook also creates a positive image of the organization and can serve as a recruitment tool
Personnel policy and procedures manuals

This term is often used for more detailed collections of policy and procedures, often handed out to supervisory staff.
Information sessions

Holding an information session is a good way to ensure that employees understand a new policy . Outline the decisions that led to the development of the policy, the people who were consulted, and any plans for future reviews.
Statements of understanding

For some policies, you may wish to have each employee sign a statement acknowledging that they understand the policy. If you do this, you must have a plan for consistently ensuring that all current and new employees receive a policy orientation and sign a statement.

Ensure that each employee has an up-to-date copy of each policy and procedure that is relevant to their job, or that the policies and procedures are kept in a central place where all employees can easily access them.
8. Reviewing and updating policy

The Board may set a time frame for reviewing policy, or they may delegate this responsibility. A reasonable period between complete reviews is two to three years.
Policies that are affected by changes to government legislation should be reviewed as soon as there are any changes to the law. Some organizations have adopted a policy that requires annual policy reviews. This helps them stay in line with legal requirements.

Notify employees and provide them with a revised copy when a policy or procedure is updated.

12th August 2008 From India, Coimbatore

As I am working on Developing policy for the company. I have got good understanding about the process. Thank you Sir, Very good effort. Regards Pratap kamble:icon1:
16th April 2009 From India, Pune
Hi Shefali,
Even i also think the same. One day my boss, who is part of management, said, "i think HR is of no use for any company".
but still i think HR is the backbone of the company & HR is the only deptt who supports to all deptt.
So still m with the same comp & working with same confidence, knowing that Hr deptt is for no use of him.
17th April 2009 From India, New Delhi
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