Human resource [HR] policies are explicit rules and procedures that specify how specific issues in the workplace, such as employee rights and responsibilities, should be handled. Employee handbooks, which are the most essential tool an HR department can provide for employees, frequently discuss HR policies. An employee handbook is written to set the firm’s general employee relations strategy and teach employees and supervisors company employment policies and procedures. It aims to familiarize employees with their rights and responsibilities in the workplace and ensure a beneficial partnership between stakeholders.
Larger firms often utilize this reference, but small businesses can benefit from drafting an employee handbook as well. Despite this opportunity, small businesses frequently lack formal HR policies due to issues such as a lack of resources, employees, or a thorough grasp of HR functions. Clear HR policies build a vision for the firm and its employees, provide gauges for defining and measuring goals, and assure compliance with laws and regulations for both types of businesses. Key elements such as employment processes, employee interactions, salary and benefits, and employee separation will be explored in-depth to fully comprehend the importance of designing and implementing HR policies in a small firm.
A situation in which a person works for various departments within the same firm is known as dual employment or moonlighting. For example, a person may work in the accounts payable department while also working as a shipping clerk. According to the dominant paradigm within the HR sphere, employment is not a good idea and can frequently lead to conflicting interests (Ashwini et al., 2017). Multiple appointing authorities are involved in joint appointments. In this case, approving the employment of a single worker in a single role, with both parties sharing the responsibility for the price of the service; is a sensitive position, as overtime compensation could be the deciding factor in the policy development.
The policy document serves as a means of disseminating significant dual-use policies that might potentially become a double-edged sword for corporate profitability. Overtime pay rates are a part of this list, as in certain situations generous overtime compensations might result in a financial drain on the business’ performance. As a result, the corporation’s senior leadership must carefully watch overtime compensation and policies. To reduce unnecessary costs, specific criteria should be in place (Seema, Choudhary, & Saini, 2021). Managers must know which department an employee’s primary responsibilities fall under. When the policy-establishment tasks are individualized, the company might lose a cohesive overall track that is essential for adequate performance evaluation.
It includes qualitative and quantitative evaluation of different factors that set a price for the product or service. The costs associated with the policy often become a point of contention, as overtime compensation could be the deciding factor. A dual-employment arrangement, according to Bonnell (2003), could result in tax savings. There are numerous instances of employees engaging in more than one contract at once due to financial needs and other reasons. From this point of view, despite the potential threat it carries to the quality of each performance individually, moonlighting availability might be beneficial for both employees and businesses.
If a position is removed, the employee must be aware of their options. When an employee retires, the employer may provide individuals with the possibility of staying on the job or receiving retirement or severance money, as well as additional benefits. If none of these apply, employees can look for full-time work with another company; nonetheless, the policy handbook should advise them of their rights (Cohen, 2020). A policy manual should demonstrate the company’s transparency, which will help avoid grievances or legal action. Organizations may be compelled to deal with legal and payroll difficulties if this is not explained adequately.
Sick Leave and Attendance
Social security, workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance, and family and medical leave are the four benefits businesses are obligated by law to provide to their employees in the United States. Other benefits are available to employers, but these four are the only ones that are required for businesses with fewer than 50 employees. Employee education and training help to avoid on-the-job injuries and illness can be difficult for small organizations. When it comes to worksite wellness initiatives, small firms have considerable challenges due to a lack of funds, time, and expertise in how to implement them. Managers that incorporate safety into their daily routine help to improve organizational culture among both managers and employees by enhancing workplace communication and trust.
The provision of sick leave is an important part of the compensation and benefits package, on par with overtime payment, insurance, and retirement plans. Although it is more difficult for small businesses to give competitive compensation and benefits than it is for large businesses, doing so helps to attract and retain talent. In terms of compliance, integrating remuneration and benefits components in an HR policy is critical for demonstrating impartial equity (DeRigne et al., 2018). Internal and external equity refers to a company’s pay structure’s perceived fairness within the organization and in comparison to paying structures supplied by comparable employers. Furthermore, there are several laws and regulations that organizations must follow when it comes to these HR policy features.
Building long-term trust requires an understanding of one’s employees’ situations and requirements. If your employees believe they do not have enough wiggle room to live and work comfortably, they’ll start to doubt your organization. Lack of trust leads to a slew of other concerns, the most serious of which is a reduction in worker productivity. If the employees are losing money by staying homesick, they will be more likely to come to work sick (Kim, 2017). An ill worker is not only less productive but his or her potential to recover is also diminished. This implies they will be sick for longer periods, which is not good for employers that are forced to pay for sick leave days. Employees and employers benefit from a tight yet fair absence management program where the interests of both sides are accounted for (Kaiser, 2018). It’s preferable to let the employees regain their health so that a manager may receive their money’s worth in terms of employee performance.
According to the latest research in the HR sphere, the right balance of flexibility and firmness frequently lies a little after the point of employees’ direct needs. Allowing them to take personal days on sick days adds to their drive. They will not want to waste their sick days, but they will have enough to utilize when necessary. Since they do not want to waste these, the staff will come to work as fast as it is feasible, additionally furthering their motivation (Goss, 2019). The reason for this is that your staff desire to extend their vacation time. They want to extend existing vacations by a day or two to allow for lengthier journeys. This desire outweighs the desire to stay at home on a wet day.
Overall, attendance regulation and sick leave policies are essential to the beneficial conditions that can be established as long as HR, employees, and management are in constant communication. Keeping employees informed or in the loop makes it easier for all parties to work through problems because they feel included. Small businesses and other employers are required by the US Department of Labor to put up posters about job safety and health protection, EEO, Fair Labor Standards, and employee rights for workers with disabilities are visible to employees.
At the time, society as a whole was preoccupied with perception, and people frequently criticize others based on how they appeared as well as their conduct. Traditional conventions of dressing to impress or wearing appropriate professional clothing have been abandoned in favor of a more business casual or casual approach. The capacity to regulate one’s manner of dress is a frequently utilized HR practice that is enforced both directly and indirectly (Middlemiss, 2018). The contemporary casual ethic expresses the public opinion on fashion and which qualities a person intends to demonstrate to others, as seen by the misconceptions that arise from not knowing one’s status in the workplace or while passing on the street. This is why businesses must have comprehensive policies in place to advise employees about the expected standards of professional appearance and attire.
Dressing to impress is a social norm, and businesses must have clear standards in place to maintain a rigid work uniform that is understood by all employees. “An employer’s dress code must not be discriminatory regarding the protected characteristics in the Equality Act 2010,” according to Middlemiss (2018). However, save in the most flagrant use of discriminatory practices, the courts have tended to uphold employers in their wish to “create and maintain dress requirements in the workplace” (p. 42). To ensure compliance and acceptance by all employees, clear guidelines and standards should be understood at all levels of the business.
In the smaller to mid-sized businesses, a specific appearance policy was almost non-existent. There was a broad assumption in the regulated companies the employees would be socialized into the firm’s culture and internalize the dress code without great levels of external pressure (Schulte, 2020). The purpose of leadership and ongoing management of dress code regulations is to guarantee that the working environment is reflected in the conduct of the organization’s desired image. No one is publicly singled out for any transgressions with their outfit choices during group think sessions where policy is discussed, and the majority agrees.
As a result, the dress code is developed and administered by a single department, and it is reasonable for the human resources department to be the manager and enforcer of such policies. Policies must be recognized and understood correctly by every relevant member of the team (Collins, 2015). The guidelines must be established as our societies evolve toward more informal and less formal workwear. Some staff wants to test how far they can push the clothing code, while others want harsher rules, so it’s a never-ending debate. However, it is claimed that only a small percentage of employees file dress code complaints, with the rest finding the unifying guidelines beneficial for their productivity and concentration.
Businesses and HR managers must keep up with a slew of constantly changing laws and regulations to stay compliant and within federal and state requirements. It can be particularly challenging for a small corporation without an HR staff to deal with such concerns. The purpose of a policy handbook is to keep employees aware of their rights and responsibilities at work. Small firms can sometimes position themselves rather informally, akin to a family, and may not require as extensive a handbook as a larger corporation. Business owners should make every effort to safeguard their employees and their families.
Due to a lack of staff, resources, and professional experience, developing an HR strategy for a small organization can be incredibly difficult. Despite these obstacles, effective HR practices have a positive impact on the company’s growth and long-term performance. The capacity for resilience of an organization is established by strategically managing human resources to develop competencies among core personnel, which, when aggregated at the organizational level, enable organizations to respond in a resilient manner when they are subjected to significant shocks. Furthermore, adopting an efficient HR policy reduces the danger of labor law infractions and public relations issues for a small business.
In conclusion, smaller-scale firms need to understand the limitations they need to endure compared to their larger competitors. Considering the costs of registration and training, many smaller businesses simply could not afford a large labor turnover. Therefore, it is increasingly important for these companies to build stable and mutually beneficial relationships with their employees. To attract and keep top talent without compromising the efficiency of the operations, fair and balanced HR policies need to be implemented and communicated. In that regard, an employee handbook is a tool that allows the firm to communicate its needs and policies to staff members. Regardless of the topic, it presents them with an opportunity to constantly monitor their performance and resolve potential issues without them reaching a critical point.
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Cohen, L. (2020). Bringing Moonlighting into the Study of Workers, Jobs, and Careers. Employee Inter- And Intra-Firm Mobility, 41(1), 215-218.
Collins, W. (2015). Threads to impress – dress for success. Australian Educational Leader, 37(3), 64-65.
DeRigne, L., Dare, P., Collins, C., Quinn, L., & Fuller, K. (2018). Working U.S. Adults without Paid Sick Leave Report more Worries about Finances. Journal Of Social Service Research, 45(4), 570-581.
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Kim, D. (2017). Paid Sick Leave and Risks of All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality among Adult Workers in the USA. International Journal Of Environmental Research And Public Health, 14(10), 1247.
Middlemiss, S. (2018). Not what to wear? employers’ liability for dress codes? International Journal of Discrimination and the Law, 18(1), 40-51.
Schulte, S. (2020). Geeks vs grandees: A transnational comparison of dress codes in American and British federal technology agencies. European Journal Of Cultural Studies, 24(2), 548-566.
Seema, Choudhary, V., & Saini, G. (2021). Effect of Job Satisfaction on Moonlighting Intentions: Mediating Effect of Organizational Commitment. European Research On Management And Business Economics, 27(1), 100137.