How to get you started to setup an HR department for your organization.
Great organizations are built by people who represent them, most importantly employees. To manage your employees efficiently, you need a good HR Department. You will find good content on motivation of employees and improving HR departments, but we want to give you an insight on how to actually get an HR Department off the ground.
We take a look at the steps we need to take to establish a powerful, yet effective HR department.
- Have a documented HR Policy. This policy document dictates the way the HR department governs all of the organization’s workforce, it should have things, like the do’s and dont’s HR should consider when hiring staff, general guidelines, which are usually governed by the guidance from senior management. Process for hiring of employees, letting employees go away, how is performace to be measured and other relevant information. This should be a one stop guide for general framework of an HR department for legal and operational guidance. This is usually created by the HR Manager and approved by senior management.
- Employee Manual or Employee Handbook. The objective of the employee manual, is to address all potential doubts or concerns anyone working would in the organization would have. Examples would be shift timings, break times, leave policies, the way leave calculations are arrived at, other operational information, which direct or indirectly affects the workforce. This employee manual should be accessible by all employees at all times, usually through a self service portal, which can be referred to at all times and readily available to all employees.
- Employee Code of Conduct. This document should lay the foundation of the ethical behavior your organization is looking to promote, an example would be no employee is expected to be involved in unethical behavior to win contracts, like bribery. Does your organization employees to receive gifts from suppliers, contractors, and so on, all information like this should be clarified. The content will vary on the nature of business, but it is best to have this in place, at the time of hiring, please ensure all employees are aware of it and agree to abide by it.
- Employment Contracts. It is a good idea to have an employee contract template for your hiring and termination processes, which is vetted by your legal department or your lawyer, this should usually include the terms of employee, the exit procedures, on boarding procedures, penalties for certain things, if applicable, clauses for confidentiality, etc. This will again depend on the nature of the business. It is best to ensure that how dues like leave due, end of service benefits are calculated and relate to which laws of the jurisdiction for extra clarity and to avoid any litigation from ex-employees.
- General Non-Disclosure or Confidentiality Agreement. It is a good idea to have a separate and general confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement, signed at the time of hiring an employee. This document again should be drafted carefully and vetted by your organization’s legal department or lawyer, this should cover all aspects of your business. Employee should be made aware before signing and joining, what are the responsibilities, with regards to non-disclosure and what are the limits, etc, to set the expectations clear from the organizations view point, also to ensure that employees agree to these conditions.
- IT Policy. As we all know data is the life blood of many if not all organizations today. You should include an IT Policy with the help of IT department, to classify the data your employees would be working with, i.e. Confidential, general, sensitive, and so on. It should also state procedures, of what information you are allowed to share externally, what are the procedures to share sensitive information in terms of security, how data is destroyed, when not needed, who to turn to or help, if anything is unclear. Having a documented IT policy will help safeguard your organization’s data, at the same time help the employees to adhere to data standards which in turn will safeguard the reputation of your organization. Also this will help introduce a culture of electronic data ownership.
- Lastly whatever documents to produce, make it a habit, to update them at the least once a year and share them with the relevant stakeholders within your organization
These were some of the bare minimums you can do establish or rather start establishing an HR department which will have a solid foundation. The list can go on and on, and these would vary depending on the nature and scale of business.
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