Wolfestone Translation HR Manager

Comment:  HR Manager Emma Hughes

HR has a duty to ensure that all employees have access to and are aware of all relevant company procedures, either directly or via line management. However People Magazine recently reported that, in a poll of 1000 workers, only 53% claimed to have knowledge of their employer’s HR guidelines and only 43% were aware of their company’s structure!

I agree with some commentators that a large percentage of the workforce will not view these policies as important and will therefore not make the effort to read them (until they have the need to of course!). I don’t believe that HR should use this as an excuse and wash our hands of responsibility.  Rather, it’s important for HR to see this as a challenge.

HR can overcome this challenge, by presenting the information in a way that will encourage the staff to read it.  Whether it’s by means as easy to implement as simplifying the language, or more complex approaches such as workshops etc.  It’s a case of finding ways to engage each individual.

We should also ensure we follow up with staff to ensure that they have understood policies correctly and collect feedback to ascertain if the policies are actually working in practice. A lot of HR professionals do not have any operational background within their company and therefore allowing staff to have input during the development of a policy or an update of a policy.  This can ensure employee engagement and promote a more collaborative attitude within the workplace.

I think the idea of testing staff on their knowledge of policies is an interesting one and is something I have considered implementing at Wolfestone, the amount of other issues we deal with has put me off thus far!

Perhaps the best way of ensuring HR policies are read and understood is to integrate into the company structure and processes.  Many workplaces have training modules that staff must complete before passing their probationary periods or receiving pay rises, so why not make HR policy one of these modules?

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  • There are good practical reasons to agree with this argument. New staff need to understand the reasons behind HR procedures and I’ve seen staff retention rates rise considerably when this is properly addressed. Some years ago I worked as an onsite contract manager at a major manufacturing company. When I joined there were 110 staff on the payroll, but there had been an average of 23 people leaving every week. New starters were given no HR induction, no explanation of procedures and no reason to feel part of a wider team. By simply introducing a full HR briefing at induction we cut the leaving rates to negligible levels and the client began to see the benefits of having a consistent, established workforce. People need to recognise HR inductions as an added value tool.