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Effectively Manage the HR Policy Portfolio

Save yourself time, money, and grief by prioritizing your needs, writing effective documents, communicating appropriate messages, and enforcing your policies consistently.


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McLean & Company engaged in the following primary research activities to write this research project:

  • We conducted in-depth interviews with HR professionals and subject-matter experts, to gain a better understanding of policy management in different organizations
  • We fielded a survey directed at managers and HR professionals to gather their opinions on which policies are the most important, how effective their policies are, who enforces them and what their policy pain points are. The survey attracted over 100 respondents.

Expert contributors include:

  • Hannah Barkley, Human Resources Manager, Ross Video
  • Sherry Adams, Executive Director of HR, City of Brampton
  • Tammy Osborne, Human Resources Generalist, Safran Electronics Canada
  • Martha McIver, VP Canada Human Resources, CBRE Canada
  • Mark Steurer, HR Director, Home Sales Company, Inc.

Your Challenge

  • Robust policies are crucial to all HR functions – well-managed policies keep things running smoothly. However, mismanaged policies result in significant monetary costs, wasted time, and potential legal liability.
  • Despite their importance, organizations are struggling to manage their HR policy portfolios. Policy documents are often poorly drafted, poorly communicated, or inconsistently enforced.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Having the wrong policies or poorly written policies is risky from a legal and cost perspective. Policy violations create errors to be fixed, employee stress, and low morale. Management time is wasted clarifying rules and dealing with violations.
  • Misalignment with organizational culture has the highest negative impact on policy effectiveness. In writing and revising policies, organizations must ensure that the policies that exist, as well as how they are written, align with the culture.

Impact and Result

  • The best way for organizations to protect themselves against litigation is to have all of the necessary priority policies in place, to write them well, communicate them effectively, and to enforce them consistently.
  • Well written policies communicate organizational culture, give managers information on how to respond to a range of situations, and curb litigation since employees are better equipped to be in compliance with laws and regulations.
  • When policies are communicated well and enforced consistently, employees are clear on what the organization values and what is expected of them. They understand their boundaries and have no excuse for violations.

Research & Tools

2. Write and revise policy documents

Create a robust policy portfolio that address HR's identified needs.

3. Communicate and enforce policies

Ensure employee compliance.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a three call advisory process.

Call #1 - Establish HR policy priorities

Assess HR policy risks to establish your policy priorities.

Call #2 - Write and revise effective HR policies

Determine time and effort required to meet your HR policy needs as well as the components and language requirements for effective HR policies.

Call #3 - Communicate and enforce HR policies

Plan policy communications to ensure all employees understand and have access to your policy offerings. Determine how to enforce your HR policies to ensure fairness, consistency, and integrity. Learn about progressive discipline and managers’ roles and responsibilities in the process.

Search Code: 74813
Published: May 2, 2014
Last Revised: May 2, 2014