HR Policies - Meaning, Importance and Functions (2023)

Human resource policies are defined as specific guidelines that an organization takes in managing its human assets. These are formal rules to recruit, assess, train, and reward the workforce. These are referred to as the framework and the guiding force that assist in making consistent decisions for the welfare of the organization and its employees.

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The HR policies are an integral part of an organization as it helps to set clear instructions about the working of the company. It is a way to protect your business and prevent any misunderstandings in the future.

When a business entity implements strong policies, it shows its inclination towards a fair workplace that will meet the standards of corporate governance.

The human resource department is entrusted with creating useful and ethical policies for the betterment of the organization.

Why are HR policies Important?

HR Policies - Meaning, Importance and Functions (1)

The importance of human resource policies are described below-

  1. It ensures that employee needs are respected and looked after in the organization
  2. It makes sure that proper benefits are provided to the employees for their work
  3. It helps to address employee problems, complaints, and grievances and even provides a way of solving them
  4. It ensures proper training and development opportunities are presented to the employees to meet the needs of the organization
  5. It offers protection to the employees against anyone in the organization
  6. They are essential as it ensures that eligible employees are getting allotted holidays and paid vacations as per their due
  7. It is considered vital as it helps to maintain the discipline in the organization
  8. It ensures that the employees are receiving fair compensation

What are the Basic HR Policies?

Some of the essential human resource policies are as follows-

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1. Anti-harassment and non-discrimination-policy

The human resource policy of anti-harassment and non-discrimination is governed by the state, federal, and local provisions.

This is why it becomes essential to review the applicable laws and then create one that can stand in any court of law as feasible and lawful. It ensures that the employees do not have to face discrimination and harassment in the workplace of any kind

2. Performance evaluation policy

The organization should have a proper performance evaluation policy that will keep the employees informed about the methods that the company will follow during performance evaluation.

It should also mention how the performance evaluation will have an impact on their jobs and pay scale.

3. Confidentiality policy

HR policies in an organization is confidentiality policy. It has become crucial for organizations to be specific about the confidentiality clause.

This is the time when industrial espionage is a reality, and companies should take proper measures to save themselves from intelligence theft. Be specific and underline the resources that will come under the confidential materials.

4. Leave and time-off benefits policy

Under leave and time-off benefits policy, an organization makes its rules and regulations clear regarding essential aspects like sick leave, vacation time-off, and holidays.

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It includes what the organization considers paid leave and what does not come under paid leave. It also informs the employees about leave that has to be taken in case of domestic violence, family issues, voting, and jury duties.

5. At-will employment policy

One of the essential policies is at-will employment.

It ensures that both the employer and employee have the power to terminate the employment contract at any given time and even without any rhyme or reason, providing that it is legal and lawful.

6. Employment classifications policy

An organization will have to stipulate employment classifications in its employee handbook to avoid any related misunderstandings later on. It includes exempt, non-exempt, part-time, and full-time employees.

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This classification lays the groundwork for overtime pays and benefits that the employees receive while working in the organization.

7. Timekeeping and pay policy

It is about recording the timing of the work of the employees in an organization.

The pay policy informs about the frequency of paydays, available methods of receiving payment, and the procedure that will be adopted if the payday is a holiday

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8. Sexual harassment policy

One of the main concerns in the workplace is sexual harassment. It is the need of the hour to communicate zero-tolerance towards inappropriate sexual behavior or comments in the workplace.

This policy helps the organization to deal with miscreants appropriately. It is the moral obligation and duty of a business entity to safeguard its employees against any form of sexual harassment. For this, they should have regular sessions in the workplace where related issues can be discussed openly.

9. Meal and break periods policy

One of the essential policies in an organization is that of meal and break periods. It informs all the employees about the duration as well as the frequency of breaks that can be taken.

The rules and regulations should be clear otherwise the employees will keep on taking an innumerable number of breaks, and this will hamper their levels of efficiency and productivity

10. Safety and Health policy

It is the responsibility of the organization to provide a safe workplace to its employees.

This is why they draft a safety and health policy at the onset that describes emergency procedures of the company and how they will deal with employees who report work-related injuries.

11. Employee conduct, attendance, and punctuality policy

As the name suggests, the employee conduct, attendance, and punctuality policy state the organization’s rules and regulations regarding employee conduct, and in case they are not punctual and their attendance in the office is not as per set guidelines.

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12. Zero-tolerance for workplace violence policy

An employer is obliged to protect its employees against workplace violence. It includes intimidation of any form as well as physical violence.

The zero-tolerance for workplace violence policy categorically bans weapons in the workplace

13. Remote worker’s policy

Times have changed, and organizations understand the changing circumstances. This is the era where both partners are working, and there might be a need for one of them to work from home.

Organizations are allowing more and more people to work from home or any other location until it does not negatively impact their work. The policy states specific time limits and the pay for the workers that work from home.

Functions of HR Policies

HR Policies - Meaning, Importance and Functions (2)

The functions of human resource policies are as follows-

  1. The function of human resource policy is to act as a viable bridge between the employees and the business entity
  2. It lay down specific guidelines for managers and supervisors
  3. It helps to communicate the condition of employment to the employees
  4. The human resource policies have an essential function of laying down and overseeing employee expectations
  5. Its function includes reviewing probable changes that will have an impact on the employees at regular intervals
  6. It lay down the groundwork for treating all the employees in an equal and fair manner
  7. The human resource policies function is to act as the stepping stone for creating the employee handbook
  8. Its function includes communicating the values and goals of the organization to interested stakeholders
  9. One of the functions of human resource policies is to communicate the method and way of implementing all the policies across all the levels in an organization
  10. To form the context for orientation, employee Onboarding, and supervisor training programs.
  11. To create a healthy environment in the workplace
  12. It ted to provide a clear picture of employee’s career growth and development in the organization
  13. One of the primary functions of human resource policies is to make sure that the policies are aligned to the best practices and legal compliance
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Every business entity needs strong policies to establish and maintain order in the workplace. These are proper guidelines that pave the way for moral and ethical behavior in the workplace.

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It describes in detail the responsibility of the employer towards the employees working under him and offers guidance to the employees about how they should conduct themselves to maintain the dignity of the place.


What are HR policies and their importance? ›

HR policies ensure every employee of an organization is looked after; their needs are respected, and proper benefits are made available to them for their work. HR policies help to address complaints, problems, and grievances of employees, and outline how to solve them appropriately.

What is meant by HR policies? ›

Human resource (HR) policies are rules and processes that govern the employment relationship between you and your team members. HR policies describe the rights, responsibilities, and expected behaviours of both you and your employees when it comes to working together.

What are the 4 C's of HR policies? ›

The four Cs of the HR profession: Being competent, curious, courageous, and caring about people
  • Related. Information.
  • PDF.
May 20, 2005

What are the five most important HR policies? ›

Employee handbook policies that every company should have in place include Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO,) Americans with Disabilities Act Policy Statement, Anti-Harassment, Attendance, and Disciplinary Action.

What is the most important HR function? ›

Function 1: Recruiting, hiring, and onboarding

This is arguably the human resource department's most important function of all. The HR department is responsible for strategizing exactly how to attract, select, and onboard candidates for the organization.

What are the important components of HR policy? ›

Ensuring equal treatment, transparency and fairness among the employees and other staff members. Facilitating the management in making consistent, uniform and well-informed decisions for the growth of the company. Developing a formal and consistent working culture for the small scale businesses.

What are examples of HR policy? ›

Recruitment and hiring policies, such as job offer policies, diversity and inclusion, equal employment opportunities, onboarding, and more. Flexible working, for example core hours or location. Employee conduct, which covers sexual harassment policy, dress codes, and more. Technology usage, including a social media ...

What are the 3 types of HR policies? ›

HR Policies – 6 Important Types: Originated, Appealed, Imposed, General, Specific and Written Policies and Implied Policies.

What are the 4 major HR functions? ›

Answer: The four basic functions of the HRM are similar to those of any manager – planning, organizing, directing, and controlling.

What are the 4 Ps in HR? ›

Just like the four P's of Marketing (product, place, price and promotion), HR can build a brand with four P's of its own — people, pay, process, and promotion. An HR brand is defined by the culture of the organization and is important in attracting, engaging, developing, and retaining a best-in-class workforce.

What are the 3 main functions of HR? ›

The three major roles in human resources are; administrative, change management, and people management. Administrative tasks include hiring and monitoring of employees, managing payroll and benefits, and development of policies and guidelines.

What are the 8 major functions of the human resources department? ›

8 Key Functional Areas of Human Resource Management
  • Recruiting and Onboarding New Employees. ...
  • Organizational Structure. ...
  • Performance Management. ...
  • Employee Compensation and Benefits. ...
  • Training and Development. ...
  • Employee and Labor Relations. ...
  • Workplace Safety and Health Issues. ...
  • Employee Satisfaction.
Dec 3, 2020

What is an effective HR function? ›

Top 5 functions of human resource management. Recruitment and hiring. Onboarding and ongoing training and development. Managing employee and employer relationships. Creating a rewarding company culture.

What are the common policies in HR? ›

HR Policies in India: 10 Best Practices for Employers
  • Employment Contracts. ...
  • Wages. ...
  • Termination of employment. ...
  • Maternity and paternity leave. ...
  • Prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace. ...
  • Public holidays and work weeks. ...
  • Restrictive clauses in employment contracts. ...
  • Gratuity and Provident Fund.
Oct 29, 2019

What are some specific HR policies? ›

15 Must-Have HR Policies and Forms
  • At-will employment. ...
  • Anti-harassment and non-discrimination. ...
  • Employment classifications. ...
  • Leave and time off benefits. ...
  • Meal and break periods. ...
  • Timekeeping and pay. ...
  • Safety and health. ...
  • Employee conduct, attendance and punctuality.
Nov 23, 2015


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