Every organization has an HR handbook. Right? Right!!?
Ok, let’s assume you have an HR handbook. Here are some questions for consideration:
- When was the last time it was revised?
- When was the last time this revision was shared or communicated to staff?
- Do you follow the policies listed in the handbook? (Actually?)
As organizations change, the handbooks should be continually reviewed, updated, and revised. It should be current and relevant to the procedures and culture within your organization. Management and employees should be made aware of significant shifts or changes within the manual, or they won’t be able to adhere to the policies.
HR handbook updates are also great times to examine/influence workplace culture. What are your workforce demographics(Baby boomers, Gen X, Gen Y, Millienials, high skilled, low skilled, long-term, short-term contract)? How will this demographic shift over the next 5 years?
Coffee giant Starbucks recently made some waves with by implementing significant changes in their dress code. They allowed for more casual dress and addition of stylized wear among staff. This appeals to the majority of their customer base (25-35 years old) and their younger employees within the same age range. At the same time, they imposed strict bans on jeweled rings, bracelets, and watches. The rationale for the latter change is health and safety – no one wants to drink a diamond that’s fallen out of a barista’s ring into your pumpkin spice latte.
Likely, there would have been employee resistance if only the ban on jewelery had been put into place. However, by providing something of value and that would benefit employees (and relevant to their customer base), the change in policies were quite well received.
How does your HR handbook reflect the culture of your workplace, and provide meaningful direction to your own workforce?
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