Types of HR Policies

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HR policies are created to let employees know what is expected of them.
HR policies are created to let employees know what is expected of them. (Image: Girl on her workplace working image by Angel_a from Fotolia.com)

The human resource (HR) department of a company is charged with the task of identifying policies for employees to adhere to. HR policies are developed so there is a standard and universal way of doing things at the office. Whether a protocol is about dress codes or harassment, having policies in place lets companies maintain professionalism and provides employees with resources on the inner workings of the organization.

Dress Codes

Policies on dress codes are common in the HR world because, according to Harvard Business School, the way people dress can have a direct impact on how professional they appear and how successful they are at what they do. HR dress code policies have different standards depending on the company. For instance, dress code policies for construction workers are different than dress code policies for people who work at a bank. Office environments typically require employees to wear business formal or business casual attire. This includes slacks and dress shirts for the guys and skirts, dresses, slacks or blouses for the ladies. HR dress code policies will list attire that is not suitable for the workplace, such as jeans with holes, shirts that have fowl language written on them, strapless tops and flip flops.

Drug-Free Work Environment

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employers must maintain a drug-free work environment. The Virginia Department of Human Resource Management explains that the use or possession of drugs and alcohol at work can have a negative impact on the work environment. For instance, mood altering substances can cause workplace conflicts amongst employees, prevent employees from performing at an optimal level, decrease productivity and create a health and safety risk for the whole environment. For this reason, human resource departments issue policies about maintaining a drug-free work environment. These policies will explain the consequences for being found under the influence of substances or having substances in an employee’s possession while at work.

Zero Tolerance Policy for Harassment

There are many different kinds of harassment from sexual innuendos to religious discrimination; however, all forms of harassment present an element of risk in the office, so businesses institute HR policies for maintaining a zero tolerance of harassment in the workplace. HR policies on harassment encourage employees to report incidents immediately, so the issues can be addressed and resolved timely by the HR department. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states that employees should not feel threatened or harassed in the workplace. Because harassment is considered a safety issue, HR policies on harassment will most likely contain language about the repercussions involved in being found guilty of harassing others at the office. Zero tolerance policies for harassment are put into place to protect employees and to maintain a safe and comfortable work environment.

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