General Musing

blaze your trail

Company Policy or People #hr

with one comment

Looking through the lens of HR

I find a 400 plus page manual of office policies and job descriptions for each position in the office slightly excessive, I know few people who read manuals like that back-to-back unless they are finding ways to make a company policy work in their favour, or a loophole. You’ve just given them 400 plus pages of potential loopholes, unless it’s written by a lawyer, then you have given them 400 plus pages of information which is impenetrable to them, and in which they will have to pay a lawyer to find the loophole which is almost certainly in there.

Even if the average employee could read, understand and recall 400 plus pages of information at 1 page a minute it would still take them 6 2/3 hours to read the manual. Do they get paid for these hours? What if it takes them slightly longer?

Employees are often asked to go above and beyond the call of duty, these job descriptions and policies are a disadvantage for the company also. I’ve seen companies give detailed job descriptions – including a specific location – and then have a policy which contradicts this by saying that location and duties are determined by the company. I’ve seen high-value producers leave because overanxious HR departments following policy without using judgement have send official warnings on first offense policy violations, they go to competitor companies were the working environment was less hostile.

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I’m not saying to have a 400 plus page manual which covers office policies and job descriptions isn’t helpful, it can be very valuable. Although I’ve found that companies who give their employees manuals which stretch to 400 pages are usually companies, and specifically HR departments, who need a way to exercise control which they do not have. Perhaps it is wise to look at the company structure and size, and regain the control by having control.

(Image source: stikone)

Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

October 6, 2010 at 11:42 am

Posted in business, risk, work

Tagged with , , , , , ,

One Response

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  1. I didn’t quite understand this when I first read it. But when I went through it a second time, it all became clear. Thanks for the insight. Absolutely something to think about.

    Sumiko Pinkert

    October 31, 2010 at 2:18 pm


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