AHPA Insider August 2023: HRAOL – Why implement policies and procedures in the workplace?

Policies and procedures, when written well, provide the right framework for a business’ entire operation.

They provide many benefits which may include:

  • Insights into company values and ethical standards.
  • Clarity of behavioural and performance standards expected of all employees.
  • Rules and guidelines for decision-making in routine situations.
  • Provide consistent and clear responses across the company to address various situations.
  • Demonstration in good faith that employees will be treated fairly and equally.
  • Clearly outlines the procedure of dealing with complaints and misunderstandings fairly.
  • Framework for delegation of decision making.
  • A means of communicating information to new employees.
  • Protection from breaches of employment legislation.

Importantly, having workplace policies and procedures in place is only useful if they have been properly implemented, can be widely accessed, and are continuously monitored.

Procedures are different from policies in that they provide a step-by-step guide on how to perform a certain task or operation in a business.  It is important that both managers and employees understand the correct process when performing a task or operation to ensure that the service or product is maintained at the highest quality. Procedures also assist in the reduction of delays and mistakes.

Policies are a Company Statement outlining standards of behaviour or limitations.  Policies typically cover any legal or ethical concerns related to a type of business or employment situation. Policies help protect employees from making decisions that could lead to both personal and company legal repercussions.

Policies and procedures should provide for the physical and emotional safety of employees. A well written procedure will include proper safety clothing to be worn, proper use of equipment, and a step-by-step guide detailing how to perform the task safely. These procedures help prevent serious injury or death. Additionally, companies often have policies against bullying, harassment and workplace violations as a way of reducing the number of incidents and managing the associated risks.

For assistance with policies and procedures or for any HR matter, please contact us at advice@hradviceonline.com.au or 1300 720 004.

Information in HR Advice Online guides and blog posts is meant purely for educational discussion of human resources issues. It contains only general information about human resources matters and due to factors, such as government legislation changes, may not be up to date at the time of reading. It is not legal advice and should not be treated as such.