Are Your Policies Alive?

By Stephani Jensen

Have you ever read your company’s employee handbook and asked yourself, Is this the same company I work for? Oftentimes, it can be confusing when your company says one thing in its policies and procedures, but communicates another in how the company actually behaves.

For example, your company may have a strict dress code policy, but Joe always walks in wearing jeans and never gets reprimanded. Or the policy may say that over 10 absences in a year will result in termination, yet it feels like Julie is absent about once a week, and no one seems to care.

If you are an HR professional and have experienced this, it can be frustrating. You spend lots of time writing and perfecting these policies and procedures, only to see them ignored by management. The answer? Build policies that are alive. What I mean is, build policies and procedures that will actually have a shot at being enforced and followed in your workplace—and then enforce them. This means training managers, continually following up with employees, and possibly changing a policy that just doesn’t seem to work in the real world of your company.

What will this mean for your HR department? If you truly build policies and procedures that are alive and breathing in your company, you will increase employee interaction and communication with the powers that be in your organization. When a policy is released, everyone will pay attention because they know it matters. If employees have thoughts or feedback, you are more likely to actually hear from them because they know your department isn’t just about writing polices to have them on paper—you actually care about how those policies affect them in their workplace.

So I challenge you to ask yourself if your policies are alive in your organization. If not, ask yourself what you can do to bring them back to life.

As Amtec’s Business Manager for the past four years, Stephani Jensen has a lot of experience establishing and enforcing polices that are alive.

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