Starting 2020 the right way

It’s the New Year, and everyone has come back to work full of good intentions: better time-management; more productivity; an efficiently organised desk. These are great personal resolutions, but business owners and HR professionals need to go a step further and make a promise to review and refresh policies and procedures for the good of everyone in the business.

A step-by-step guide to reviewing HR policies

Let’s be clear – the start of a new year is not the only time you should be reviewing your policies and procedures. These are living documents that grow with your company and change all the time in accordance with legislation or culture. What we’re suggesting is that if you haven’t really taken a good long look at your policies for a while, you probably should. And you should also put a plan together for regularly reviewing everything, so you know your HR – and other departments within the business – are always reflecting the goals and strategies of the business, as well as meeting your legal obligations.

  1. Write a plan against your complete list of policies – although we’d recommend that you review all your policies on an annual basis, we know that this might not be practical. So prioritise the policies that are most important to the business, or that you know have not been recently reviewed. Stagger the other reviews across the year and put time in your diary now so that you know it will get done.
  2. Be aware of the changes you can manage – you know there will be some changes coming in April this year, so diary a review of the relevant policies ahead of time so that you can revise and re-issue as soon as possible. There might also be organisational change coming your way – a new senior management appointment or a merger or acquisition. Now’s the time to get ahead of the game if you can.
  3. Look back to last year – were there any incidents, accidents, employee challenges or recruitment issues that mean you need to revise or update your policies? This will help to protect both the business and your employees and to make sure your policies are in line with any legal requirements.
  4. Has new technology been introduced to the business? New software systems, including time management, entry systems, holiday management or any new technology might have an impact on your policies. Make sure that you no longer refer to the old system and that any features of the new systems are incorporated where relevant. This also applies to any software updates or new releases to existing technology.
  5. Identify who needs to be involved with the review – for some businesses, the HR manager can handle most policy reviews; for bigger businesses, other areas of the business might want or need to be involved. Identify who must be part of the review and set their expectations and responsibilities.
  6. Set a timetable for review – the review process might take a short time, or may be quite involved, depending on the extent and detail of the policy. Set a timetable for initial review, and for making amends and changes – and then for approval and issue across the business.

Once your policies are reviewed, any changes should be documented and communicated across the business. Changes may result in the need for additional training or development, so you should also log the training needed and who needs it, so that it can be organised.

This is a short guide to getting your 2020 in order as far as HR policies are concerned – for help with policy review, learning and development or new policy creation, contact us today.

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