A Guide to Setting Up HR Policies for Your Startup

HR policies are essential for any organization. They put employees and culture first and assist in driving desired behavior. It also aligns people with the company vision and lets you boost strategic engagement. Start-ups usually have some basic HR policies in place initially. But with time, when they grow, they need better and more structured HR policies. Here’s a guide to setting up HR policies for your start-up that will come in handy when your company grows, and you need better and more defined HR policies.

·       Build a Cross-Functional Team

The first step in creating HR policies is to involve multiple people in the process. The HR Head should not be assigned the task of creating the policies and implementing them. Instead, it should be a team effort involving business leaders/partners, department heads, and other key members who played a vital role in initiating the start-up.

·       Decide Roles

Once you have picked the team, the next step is to assign roles to different people. You can decide who will be the initiator and talk about policy with other team members. Then you can decide who will be the writer responsible for drafting the written guidelines and taking care of relevant communication. A person can be assigned as a communicator who keeps everyone updated on the task. Finally, you can assign one or more owners who will update the policy as per changing needs and legal requirements.

·       Think of Legalities

When crafting HR policies, you cannot forget that you have legal obligations towards your employees. You need to know about your country’s human rights and employee rights so that you don’t get yourself in a legal tangle. You also need to know about privacy legislation around employee information.

·       Where to Begin?

Some of the best places to start when it comes to crafting workplace policies are pay equity, health & safety, emergency preparedness, workplace harassment, personal information protection policy. Start with one and then move forward. Take the help of legal counsel to revise your drafted policies and give inputs from a legal standpoint.

·       Cover Everything

Make sure your policy is not just about the basics. It should also cover areas like code of conduct, work hours, overtime, absenteeism, attendance, work from home details, vacation time, paid time off, conflict of interest, leaves of absence, confidentiality, performance management program, social media, internet, email and electronic use, drug, and alcohol use, expense reimbursement and conflict resolution, among others.

Don’t Forget These!

Ø  You should also create an overall ReadMe that sets the tone for your overall approach and provides company culture cues to support it. It will offer helpful context and clarity for everyone, especially your employees.

Ø  Communicate all HR policies with existing employees and new joiners to know about it and always have it in the back of their minds.

Ø  Annually review the HR policies so that your company stays up to date!





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