In an organization, employees and the employer should handle their responsibilities according to set procedures to enhance the growth and reputation of the company. Discipline, ethics, compliance, and duty accomplishment ensured when human resources work within the established policies. After recruitment, personnel go through training programs that impact them with human resource knowledge. Health policy, dress code and physical presentation, workplace harassment and disturbance, and steps to recruiting and staffing, among other areas, are incorporated in the HR policy manual.
To ensure the proper running of a company and effective talent management, it is essential to develop an appropriate strategy for managing the Human Resource (HR). An HR Policy Manual is considered the pillar of an organization as it explains goals, regulations, and clarifies how the company and workforces should follow the documented guidelines. Paramount objectivity and logic should be warranted in the HR manual and policy. Additionally, the document outlines ways to reduce employee relationship issues through a personnel acknowledgment section that reflects the commitment to be focused on responsibilities and proficiency in performing the allocated duties.
The policy manual assists employees to familiarize with operations through information, such as their annual leaves, allowances, insurance plans, and rules regarding anti-harassment. Some companies hire HR consultants to prepare their Human Resources manual. They are mandated to design new techniques and procedures for the workers’ handbook, revise the document, review existing strategies, and align the new ones with the goals of the association.
As the business environment changes with emerging trends, it is necessary to look into the guide and update it to match the developments to thrive and flourish since, with the advancements, new job approaches are introduced. The employees need to be well-equipped with the usage of these methods and procedures. The HR specialist should be trained while several factors are being considered, such as the organization’s culture and structure, business trends, legal laws, and norms of the firm. Human resources, such as managers, supervisors, or administrators, use these documents regularly in implementing orders and handling issues appropriately. Duties are conducted in an organized manner when norms and standards are followed as stipulated.
Several departments exist in most firms, such as marketing, finance, and technical, and the personnel working in these units are recruited based on different competencies and qualifications. Therefore, the policies are essential as a unifying aspect that sets standard guidelines for all of them irrespective of their various credentials. A practical HR manual considers steps associated with staffing and recruitment, staff downsizing, attendance and timekeeping, workplace safety, conflict management, hour and wage issues, legal issues, and performance appraisals, among others.
Employee Relations Scenario
Business managers have the responsibility of upholding positive employee relations in the efforts to maintain a workplace that fosters communication and supports the culture required for the company’s success. However, in the place of work, issues arise and may eventually create larger problems, which result in 60% of managers’ time being spent solving conflicts at work (Picincu, 2019).
Co-worker disputes, sexual exploitation, frequent lateness at work, inappropriate dressing, leave disagreements, bullying, hygiene problems, poor management of time, violation of safety rules, and deflation of confidentiality rules, among other employee relations issues, may impact negatively a company and should therefore be the primary factors considered in developing an HR policy and manual.
Employment Labor Laws
Organizational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) was formed to ensure safe and healthy working environments for all workers (Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 2015). Employers who are covered by this Act must observe the regulations and health standards it provides since they have an obligation to protect their employees from unsafe workplaces. A relations scenario, in this case, would be, for instance, a supervisor is responsible for implementing a Smoke-Free Premises policy.
However, a particular staff member understands it and, after realizing that someone noticed him or her smoking, he or she hides. The action could be taken as insubordination and call for disciplinary actions. Alternatively, staff could also be educated and trained concerning taking care of one another, given the OSHA standards. To comply with this regulation, the corporation, therefore, orders that:
- No staff should use drugs or related substances at the workplace. It is the role of the employees notify guests concerning the measure.
- Workers should familiarize themselves with their tasks, areas of work, and identify potential hazards.
- Every work equipment should be used appropriately and procedural shortcuts should be avoided in all means.
- Those found violating the policy shall face disciplinary actions that may result in suspension or termination of cooperation with the firm.
- Emergency exits should be maintained clear at all times.
Wages and Hours
The Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) focuses on minimum wage, overtime compensation, and children’s employment principles. It requires employers to pay non-exempt workers the federal minimum wage and overtime remuneration of hours. They work above 40 hours per week, which should not be less than one and one-half times the regular pay rate. In scenarios where an employee depends on federal and state minimum stipend laws, higher minimum rates are accorded. FLSA also recommends that bosses keep a record of their junior staff time and payment forms. Additionally, the Act defends minors’ educational opportunities and bans their involvement in jobs. The employees of the corporation must adhere to the above policy through the following provided guidelines:
- The non-exempt workforce must clock in and out; they are required to use a time clock, although it is not necessary for the exempt staff.
- Work start time is to be set by management, and each member of staff is expected to arrive on time.
- The manager must be notified if an employee cannot attend the duty assigned at least three hours before the designated time.
- In the case of consecutive absent days due to illness, a person is expected to provide a medical report from an accredited health provider.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a healthcare reform with wide-range coverage expanded into Medicaid eligibility and health insurance that prevent overcharging of patients with pre-existing conditions by insurance companies. As per this policy, children are covered under their parents’ plan until a certain age. It provides for the employer-shared-responsibility-payment option that requires corporations with fifty or more full-time labor force to be offered a minimal level of health insurance failure to which the firm is subject to paying the penalty (Kenton, 2020). A full-time employee is one who works at least 30 hours a week.
This law was intended to reduce health insurance bills per month through premium tax credits and cost-sharing, which are discounts that help reduce out-of-pocket budgets for healthcare expenses, including copayments and deductibles for lower-income personnel and households. To enhance this act, the corporation provides the below procedures:
- The staff below the age of 45 years should attend medical checkups once in two years in the accredited hospital listed in the work policy.
- Those above 45 years ought to undergo health examinations once a year.
- An employee should ensure their spouses above 50 years of age are listed in the annual health inspection.
- Personnel should liaise with the Human Resource department to fix a time to collect the medical form for submission to the health facility.
- It is the duty of the HR to make arrangements for the hospital appointment.
Dress Code and Physical Presentation
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) forbids employers from implementing illegal and discriminating policies against workers. It is in charge of enforcing respectful workplaces with equal opportunities for those working there irrespective of their status. Further, under this plan, the employer is entitled to establishing a dress code that does not conflict with the workplace culture.
Dress code guidelines are developed to nurture a professional environment and display a firm image aligned with its values and applicable to all employees. According to Picincu (2019), an appropriate dress code demonstrates professionalism, as well as politeness. Regarding a related scenario, if a breach occurs unintentionally, the administration should communicate with employees about dressing and appearance and remind them of dress code expectations to avoid future violations. An organization’s personnel shall adhere to the stated regulations:
- A neat appearance is expected from all employees at the workplace.
- While in office or during external business schedules, clothing with political writings, slogans, or printed messages is not allowed.
- Strapless and sleeveless blouses and shirts are unacceptable.
- Tattoos should be concealed at all times during work hours.
- Staff should have their identification badges always to distinguish them from guests.
- Hair should be clean and trimmed neatly.
- At all times in the workplace, personal hygiene is required.
- Female employees should use minimal make-up that is appropriate for the work environment.
Workplace Harassment and Disturbance
Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) covers not only provocation at work based on age but also intimidation whereby for an insult to be regarded as harassment and become unlawful, the act must be unpleasantly work-related or adverse. The employer should take caution and advise employees against unacceptable threats of violence that call for severe discipline and find an alternative to terminate the causes of such actions.
In a case scenario, when the best-performing employee is involved in an unethical deed, the administration should report the incident. As Khubchandani and Price (2015) state, the implication of lacking an answer to harsh relations triggered by work area harassment is that many employees experiencing it are distressed and always quit. Thus, if the personnel is not reported, pestering other staff will be a routine, and the company may lose a workforce if they resign. The following must be adhered to:
- A victim or a witness of harassment in the area of work is obligated to inform the management.
- Reporting of any unacceptable occurrence should be as soon as the incident happens.
- Section heads are responsible for recording any known provocation, as well as compliance with set standards.
- In case of delay in addressing the issue, the employer is accountable.
- Prompt disciplinary actions, including termination, will be applied to those who violate the policy.
National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) Section 7 states that employees’ usage of social media can be safeguarded if it is mutually agreed for collective bargaining purposes. The Internet has currently become relevant in maintaining a clear distinction between personal and professional existence on social platforms, ensuring work ethics are maintained. The demarcation is because clients aware of an organization are likely to associate their staff’s conduct on social media with the company. While workers enjoy the freedom of voicing their personal opinions on media platforms, it is appropriate for ethical conduct to be maintained (McKenzie & Harrington, 2017).
As per the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), the employer’s computer system remains to be their property; thus, the act gives the employer the right to observe how their workers use the computer and Internet access. The corporation provides the following guidelines to be followed under this policy:
- All online activities should be monitored, and staff ought to be aware of the censorship before engaging in non-work-related action in the course of working hours.
- Discussing the corporation’s information regarded as confidential, such as business strategy, is prohibited.
- Personnel should embrace transparency and refrain from using pseudo names.
- Politeness and respect must be ensured in social media relations.
- Employees should desist from making speculative and baseless comments obtained from rumors.
- Compliance with the legal stipulations regarding property rights is vital at all times.
- Workers should refrain from spreading personal information about their colleagues on social media.
- If the content on employees’ site is considered offensive to clients or has a negative reflection on the company, disciplinary actions will follow, which may include termination.
Recruitment and Staffing
The Equality Act 2010 eliminates discrimination from workplace situations; recruitment procedures included while protecting individuals from being approached less favorably since they possess unique characteristics such as disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy, and civil partnership. Similarly, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 law safeguards employees from discrimination in hiring, training, promotion, duty assignment, and transfer based on identified features such as color, gender, religion, and national origin (Kurt, 2020).
Under this Act, an employer shall not victimize interviewees or employees in regard to either condition, term, or privilege. Together, these acts oblige firms to make reasonable amendments to accommodate less advantaged job applicants through adapting selection and recruitment techniques, such as job application form should be in large print to suit visually impaired applicants. For a fair recruitment activity, the following should be recommended to the corporation:
- Development of specific requirements for the position by the HR manager and posting through various advertisement channels.
- Definition of the criteria that will be used to assess the applicants. According to Klepić (2019), skills, education, and experience gauge the appropriate workforce required.
- Invitation of the selected candidate to a job interview should be neutral (Ling, Ning, Chang, & Zhang, 2018). Questions should be asked to define applicants’ qualifications.
- HR manager makes a decision on whom to offer the job position and explains the conditions and requirements of the post.
Employee Compensation and Benefits
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) demands that some positions receive a compensation plan to show compliance with the labor laws. A right compensation package, alongside training and development schedules, are motivating factors for employees. It helps in retaining the workers since their satisfaction levels are high (Kagan, 2019). Even though the benefits do not apply in all posts, employers offer negotiation rooms to their workers so that they are rewarded for their efforts and loyalty, and in return, commitment to work increases.
Higley (2019) explains the commonly used compensation packages as straight salary compensation where salaried employees receive a specific amount annually or monthly depending on the company’s policy. These workers are more flexible to work outside offices since they necessarily do not record hours worked for compensation.
Salary and incentives suit the labor forces who require security and compensation given their contributions. Employees in this category do not only receive a set salary, but there is more to the paycheck, depending on methods used to calculate commission (Higley, 2019). It may be a personal sales percentage, a team’s sales ratio, or an overtime bonus. For some personnel who are required to hit specific targets to qualify for incentives, it is a motivator and makes them feel valued and appreciated. Lastly, there is a straight hourly compensation whereby staff are entitled to overtime pay whenever they work for more than 40 hours a week. The beneficiaries of this package are workers with varying availability.
Employee Acknowledgement Section
As earlier defined, an HR manual identifies an organization’s goals and outlines employees’ mode of behavior at work. An employer should ensure all workers are aware of the workplace policies and what is expected of them. The best way to be sure that they have acknowledged the contents of the document is through a signed policy form with the guidelines. The manual policy is occasionally formulated when a new approach is introduced, or there is a change in an existing one, and the personnel has to show a willingness to abide by it. Below is an example of an employee acknowledgment form:
An effectively placed HR plan for this corporation includes its objectives and workplace safety, wage and hours provisions, health policy, dress code, and physical presentation, workplace harassment and disturbance, and steps to recruiting and staffing. In addition, a description of how the corporation and workforces shall stick to policies is explained. For this is a mid-sized company, the goal is to ensure its growth and improved performance; thus, it is significant to warrant that the HR plan addresses all needs of the employees.
Even though the policy handbook is efficient in defining workplace rules, relation issues are common in both small and large firms. However, the discussed policies can help mitigate these problems through various means, such as applying a system that ensures efficient communication among the team members to help solve conflicts in case it arises. The introduction of software that helps in self-timing would allow employees to keep time as they can clock in or out using their smart devices. The employer should create an easily accessible leave policy to prevent disputes that may arise over leave management, promoting a healthy work environment for all workers.
Higley, D. (2019). 3 types of compensation packages to consider. Web.
Kagan, J. (2019). Worker’s compensation coverage A. Web.
Kenton, W. (2020). Affordable Care Act (ACA). Web.
Khubchandani, J., & Price, J. H. (2015). Workplace harassment and morbidity among US adults: Results from the National Health Interview Survey. Journal of Community Health, 40(3), 555–563. Web.
Klepić, I. (2019). Correlation of recruitment and selection of human resources and the performance of small and medium enterprises. Naše Gospodarstvo/Our Economy, 65(4), 14–26.
Kurt, D. (2020). 8 federal laws that protect employees. Web.
Ling, F. Y. Y., Ning, Y., Chang, Y. H., & Zhang, Z. (2018). Human resource management practices to improve project managers’ job satisfaction. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 25(5), 654–669.
McKenzie, K., & Harrington, D. W. (2017). Human resources (CIR/HR Policy) and personnel policies. Policy, 200, 050385-027.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration. (2015). Training requirements in OSHA standards. Web.
Picincu, A. (2019). Examples of employee relations issues. Chron. Web.