In this blog I explain what is see as the signs of weak HR policies and the impact these can have on a business.
So first things first – what are the signs of weak HR policies?
I think there are several signs of weak policies.
1. Not aligned to the law – maybe because they are out of date and there is not a regular review process in place
2. Not aligned to the individual organisation, the environment in which it operates, the type of people it employs and the types of risk or regulations the industry – probably because they have been written as a tick-box exercise
3. Over- complicated and/or used to control and command the workforce rather than to encourage them to achieve certain standards.
4. Not shared with the workforce and not embedded by the managers/leaders of the organisation. If employees don’t know about them how are they expected to work to them, and if managers don’t lead by example how can they ensure the principles of the policies are embedded in the workplace.
And how can this impact a business?
Research shows that businesses with formal HR policies perform better than those without them. I have seen first-hand where weak policies can affect the financial performance of an organisation.
For example, a weak attendance management policy meant one organisation really struggle to serve their customer well because they had very high levels of absence. They lost revenue because of the high absence levels and developed a poor reputation. They also had very high employee payroll costs through sick pay and overtime levels.
In redesigning the policy, and training the managers, the business was able to set the standards it needed to be able to improve its service and encourage its employees to achieve these; and for those who didn’t there was a robust framework in place that their manager could use to help them improve. Service and revenue went up and costs reduced.