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Implementing a New Policy

How do you go about implementing a new policy to the workplace?

Implementing a new policy in any workplace can be a difficult task. Ensuring key employees are actively involved in the process and clearly communicating the new information to employees will ease the transition and implementation of the new policy.

A significant policy change should include key employees, specifically those most affected by the new policy. Though key employees are typically at a management level, depending upon the type of policy being adopted, it may be advantageous to include the opinions of line/base employees as well. These employees can usually offer more insight on how a new policy will affect current practices and how employees may react to the changes more so than top executives. Even something seemingly simple like a dress code policy may affect workers more than expected.

Involving employees, just to the extent necessary, will go a long way in ensuring the policy is accepted and followed.

Make sure the new policy is easy to understand and clearly written. An ambiguous policy just creates more headaches for everyone.

You also want to get buy-in from your management team (i.e. the employees responsible for ensuring the new policy is followed). If you included some of these employees in the creation of the new policy as previously mentioned then this step will be easier. Creating buy-in further increases the acceptance of a new policy.

Some employers choose to discuss new policies at management team meetings or simply distribute them to managers first. Either way, it’s important your leaders are aware of the new policy and its implementation date. Inform them that a company-wide announcement is coming soon. This step also gives managers the opportunity to ask their own questions about the changes in order to be better equipped to answer questions posed by their staff later on.

Inform all staff of the new policy prior to its effective date. Doing so eases the transition and allows employees to ask questions. Encouraging an environment where employees feel like their concerns matter is important in maintaining and even increasing employee satisfaction.

Major policy changes like revisions to employee benefits or specific procedures done on a regular basis should be distributed well in advance of the effective date. No one wants to be told that everything they know is being changed starting tomorrow. Further, depending upon the policy, you may even consider scheduling meetings for all employees to review the new policy and pose questions. Ideally, the meetings should be held before the new policy takes effect.

Lastly, update your employee handbook and distribute the policy to all staff either electronically or hard copy.

This entry was posted on Monday, November 9th, 2015 at 1:45 pm and is filed under
Human Resources Management, Workplace Management.
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