I recently read an article by Howard Mavity called, “What to Avoid to Keep From Getting Sued Over Your HR and Safety Policies“. This is a terrific piece for any small employer to read and very useful in helping craft a basic human resources framework in your company. Mr. Mavity makes nine very relevant points. Of particular interest:
- Keep employee handbooks and safety policies brief. Very good advice. Anything too long can complicate things and lead to unnecessary risk.
- Make sure policies are relevant to the current workplace. Many handbooks/policies become outdated quickly with the changing times.
- Safety policies need to be site specific and any job safety analysis must be customized to where they are placed.
- Job descriptions need to be relevant to the specific job. This sounds basic but many employers do blanket job descriptions that bear little resemblance to the actual job they are attached to.
- Corporate “Values Statements” often have little impact on a workforce that had no say in how they were developed. Involve your people when developing company values so that they are invested in what the company states is meaningful.
Setting down corporate policies that are not relevant to the situation or to the reality of the culture and workplace can lead to unnecessary risk. When crafting any policy, make sure you take into account why you are doing it and who/where you are doing it for. Make sure to communicate said policies so that the stakeholder involved are fully aware and able to comply.
If your company needs help with HR, we are at your service. Please contact Tom Callam.