Business Essays – Policies HR Managers

Policies HR Managers


This assignment will examine formal, written HR policies including advantages and disadvantages of them, as they could cause bureaucracy, restrict flexibility and discretion of both HR specialists and line managers. Factors of HR policies importance and its functions will be also mentioned at this work.

The structure of this study would be broken down into X different chapters which is the introduction which would include a brief description on the study then the literature review considering the importance and concerning of the HR functions in organisations, then would be the research methodologies chapter which would outline the available HR policies and functions in companies also the method which the researcher have chosen to use and why, then would be the analysing of findings from the questionnaire and finally the recommendations to the outlines taken from the reality data gathered.

This research would consist of mainly both primary and secondary data. The primary data would be collected from a questionnaire done by the researcher so show what the factors are, which influences the importance or not of HR policies in organisations. Companies’ managers which have been researched participate in this role in a particular importance to provide our work with companies who does have and practise HR policies and whose which does not have one.

This assignment will also discuss about career development opportunities within organizations that stimulates individuals to continue learning throughout life or being developed by their organization. A variety of ways will be given at the secondary data as examples of individual development inside of their companies, and this study will provide an implication of the point of view that is their employer’s duty to offer individuals with extracurricular courses or NVQ certificates to increase their horizons, even though takes a long time to happen. The primary data collected also will examine what a line manager expects from their companies and how often the individual development is given or not by their organizations.

Our aim in this study is to provide Pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages of HR policies as well as justify if formal written HR policies are unnecessary and an discussion about career development as being a responsibility only for part of the employee’s organization.

Academic Literature

1 – HR Policies

According with Cole (1997) policy is an expression of the organization values and beliefs concerning all the major functions of the enterprise. Policies sates not what the organization wants to do but how the organization intends to achieve its objectives. It is a statement of long-term objectives to be achieved and provide the ethical or behavioural context of the organization which intends to conduct its employee relations.

Some examples (that may vary from company to company) of Formal written HR policies contents will be:

  • Vacancies advertised within the organization;
  • Acts of any kind of discrimination against sex, ethnic origin, skin colour, age and religion will be tolerate within the organization;
  • Company will always negotiate in good faith with trade unions;
  • No organizational changes will be implemented without consultation with all those directly affected by them;
  • Every employee will have the right to fair treatment in matters of discipline;
  • Pay rise will be following government rules and regulations, etc…
  • Only once these rules of behaviour have been established it is possible to develop strategies that are consistent with them.

1.1 – Competitive Strategies

The vision of Johnson, Scholes and Whittington are that people – related issues are a central concern and responsibility of most managers in organisations and are not confined to a specialist human resource function. Furthermore the author states that formal HR systems and structures may be vitally important in supporting successful strategies, it is quite possible that they may hinder strategy if they are not tailored to the types of strategies being pursued .(Jonhson et all 2006).

In addition Johnson, Scholes and Whittington agreed that an HR function in order to enabling successful business strategies, a role of an Advisor should be played to ensure issues of HR policies and their practices are in line with the best organizational practice.

The present author mention the certainly of people’s competences and behavior are directly monitored by formal HR policies and then so over the future business strategies to the deliver the success of the organization.

“Strategy is the route that has been chosen for a period of time and from a range of options in order to achieve business goals. It is a guide to action and therefore sets the scene within policies-including those employee resource (ER) policies relating to the learning and development of people-can be agreed and implemented” (Rosemary Harrison, 1998, p.19).

1.2 – Commitment of Line Managers and Specialist

To get a closer opinion about the real participation and discretion of line managers and specialist in HR policies the author Harrison (1998) make an important point on the need to obtain the commitment of line management colleagues by convincing them of the importance of professional activity in personnel and individual development and without the proper commitment the organization cannot be full relevance and reach an impact of HR policies and actions within employees.

In another words they have the responsibility for communicating a clear vision about HR policies trough people and enhance performance and growth throughout the company, their function is to fully integrate people with business.

As the Duncan Brown (2001) describes in his book that without extensive employee communications and involvement to create understanding and trust, without effective line and performance management then the written HR policies together with business goals that many organisations now have can never be delivered in practice.

1.3 – Bureaucracy

Meaning Duncan Brown (2001) ibid; the solution for successful business is not to abandon the formal written HR policies but to adopt a more inclusive, employee and process-focused. The understanding for Duncan is the more communication and involvement that employee has with the organization, the more the business will become effective.

In order to decrease bureaucracy one example is given according with Duncan Brown (2001) the organization perspective needs to be rather than focusing on pay or benefits, the company needs to involve an open partnership with employees and line managers, rather than treating pay issues in a matter of secret services. The results approach with evolution, regular and adaptative and incremental improvements.

Policies exist to supply members of the organization with information. Information related with security of employment and management intentions. Therefore without policies employees will assume adherence to management precedent. Outline procedures for devising a policy is a job to be centralized in one person, who can not only remain faithful to the original vision, but can also ensure a single style and coherence in the drafting, no matter how many different suggestions and point of view are eventually accommodated (Derek et all 1995).

Formal written HR policies according with professor William Scott-Jacson (2005) does not encourage bureaucracy but believes that HR policies provides more effectively the delivery of information, reduce recruitment timescales due to process efficiencies, mean that new staff , adding value for the organization, can be brought on board faster. The author also proposes: use of consultancy services by members of the organization, creation of internal centres of HR excellence, improves Knowledge-management solutions.

1.4 – Date Easily

Human Resources Management Policies have a tendency to date easily for several reasons:

From its definition, there is a presumption that an organization’s human resources policies are designed specifically to fit its work environment. In practice however, HR policies are implemented within the context of the wider system in which the organization operates. Therefore certain changes in the wider environment will enforce HR policy changes. The origins and causes for this may stem from political, social or economical factors.

To a large extent, regulatory frameworks (international, regional and national) will directly impact on what employer’s responsibilities to their employees are as well as what forms the basic model of HRM. In the UK, it is suggested that the election of Mrs. Thatcher in 1979 set the stage for market oriented ideologies in workplace practices but the election of New Labour shifted the emphasis towards ‘social partnerships’.

This resulted in a change in the norms of employee/employer relationships (Salamon (2000) p.57). For example, the introduction of rights to flexible working work culture in the 1990s. HR policies have to integrate these changes in employment standards set by each ruling party because they over ride any internal HRM desires.

Regionally, the European Union regularly exercises its ‘power to enforce certain social rights and obligations regarding conditions of work for employees’ (p.217). Again, HR managers have to be proactive in reviewing their policies periodically to avoid their HR policies becoming obsolete.

Similarly, HR policies can become out dated when governments introduce management changes in their policies. In the UK, the government introduced the Equal Pay Act in 1970 and amended it in 1983 (ibid. p.). The Employment Act of 1980 has also undergone series of amendments; the Act introduced trade union rights for individual employees.

In 1988, ‘rights to recourse to employment tribunals if discriminated against or disciplined by an employer concerning trade union rights’ were added. Then in 1996 and 1998 extensions were made to consolidate ‘maternity rights, redundancy, contracts of employment and unfair dismissal and family friendly provisions such as unpaid parental leave’ (ibid. p).

Also, the outcomes of negotiations by trade groups and other pressure groups may affect employment practices. HRM policies have to incorporate any changes to the system or the organization may face legal risk of none compliance

With respect to economic factors, the business environment is generally dynamic. This engenders challenges to life span of what can be termed the best HR policies. Fundamental issues like increases and decreases in the size of an organization, updating of technological infrastructure or external relationship building may necessitate corresponding adjustments of HR policies… In the same vein, an organization’s HR policies need to be comparable to those of its close competitors.

Competition for the best workers in the industry means that HR managers need to track changes in the employment practices of their competitors. This may also be a reason for consistent HR policy amendments.

Essentially, Employment Regulations are subject to constant changes. Human Resources policies that were compliant within one set of employment regulations may become prohibited within new employment regulations. Thus HR policies no matter how well they have been crafted will become ineffective.

Additionally, continual assessment of gaps in the ability of existing policies to meet personnel needs can be practically and financially challenging. Considering the time and effort it takes to make effective decisions and the cost of disseminating outcomes to all members of the organization

Therefore realistically, the application of detailed formal lines of HRM policies to administering sound employment practices often brakes down and requires constant attention.

1.5– Flexibility

According with Stephen Taylor (2002) Flexibility is something very positive in an life organization as per, an flexible organization is able to deploy its people and make use of their talents more effectively than one which is not also the more flexible an organization becomes, the better able it is to respond to and embrace change.

Clearly Stephen Taylor (2002) talks about “flexibility” will cover a broad range of different areas of activity, but basically the author describes two general headings: Cultural and structural flexibility.

The structural flexibility refers to the type of the contract under which people work and the architecture of the organization. In case the organization is structurally inflexible could be characterized as one that employs people on the same basic set of terms and conditions, is made up where people are required to fit themselves and is managed via a traditional hierarchical structure.

A flexible organization, deploys people where and when they are needed using an variety of contractual arrangements, and expects its people to work in a variety of different role as and when required. It is easier in organizations where they HR policies are more flexible to quickly respond to changes.


The idea of flexibility was as old as the business but as the time passed there are changes and developments occurs in it. So now a day’s it becomes the necessity of the businesses and even for the peoples to live in this world. Every business and person have to flexible to it’s own survival because if the business or the people are not flexible so them they will not compete in the market So now a days flexibilities could not work without the HR system. Following examples are more helpful to understand flexibility work:

  • Late coming LSC students allowed to enter in the class which is a flexible way
  • LSC allows to go for prayer to the Muslims students during the class, is a flexibility
  • Some securities companies works Four days on Four days off it’s a flexibility of work.
  • Igor Ansoff (1960) he gave the concept that the flexibilities have many meaning, companies need to be flexible in the internal and external ways.
  • Olmsted and Smith (1989:Vlli, 1997)Flexibility is a way “to attract and retain good employees in a labour market that is steadily become more competitive”.
  • Boyer’s (1987) commented that flexibility is “ a multiform and particularly ambiguous generic term”.
  • Different authors have different theories but all of them as they understand the flexibility more, they tried to clear it more, time to time . Today we divided the flexibility in different types to understand it more clearly.
  • Internal Flexibility is related to the in sourcing changes of employees, employees responsibilities, flexible working-time etc.
  • External Flexibility is out sourcing like hiring employees through recruiting agencies for short- time employments, or make a short term contract or fixed duration contract without the permanent or regular base contract is called external flexibility.
  • Functional flexibility is like a multi skills, job rotation, team work in a similar form and it facilitate to every employee that he move form one task to another.
  • Numerical flexibility is concerned more various size and the work force
  • Temporary contracts
  • Agency work
  • Labour pool
  • Part-time(insecure)
  • Outsourcing
  • Freelance
  • Temporal flexibility
  • Shift work
  • Rostering
  • Annualised work
  • Part-time(secure)
  • Sabbatical leave
  • Variable working pattern
  • Compressed worksheet
  • Ad hoc Flexibility
  • Paid overtime
  • Unpaid overtime
  • Lay-offs
  • Redundancy
  • Casual work
  • Restricted HR Policy

It’s the thing in which an institution stop to you do some thing is called restriction and it’s a healthy thing to run any business

Few example to understand it’s more clearly if in a company an accountant said suddenly I want to go for sales or HR manager said I want to work for cleaners etc so these are totally wrong because they are not hiring for which they demand to do know and then they said there is no flexibility in the company so it’s not fair. That’s why company have to set job a descriptions for employee and restrict them what their job demands. And such types of check and balance is good to running an institutions.

So now we know that personnel restriction are healthy to execute the business and make a discipline in the organization.

2 – Career Development

2.1- Competitive Advantage

The vital route to achieve competitive advantage involves “capital investment in new production techniques and products, an expanding knowledge base, and a more highly skilled workforce”(Hendry,1994, p.98).

According by Harrison (1998) significantly lower investment in employees is not the correct fuel for innovation and growth of the organization, the lack of adequate investment in education and training for skills will not encourage people on their jobs or motivate them to aim company success. The outcome for this lack of investment in individual development will constitute in a major barrier to the more flexible labour market essential to competitive advantage.

Another factor raised by Harrison (1998) is a belief of the author that short courses provide a wide coverage of topics concerned with management problems, thus giving a widening perspective and understanding. The promising future culture of organisations is for employees to continue to learning at work and also to continue their education outside work at their own expense.

According to this Japanese firms can be given as example, because continuous development together with a high level of basic education and encouragement to learn will help employees to deal easily with any changes that occur inside of the organization plus improve efficiency.

Advantages of HR policies

Human resource (HR) policies in organization can take place in discrimination by changing employers’ behaviours.  HR policies can raise employee’s rights awareness and help them to find remedies for discrimination at work i.e. age discrimination, disability, colour discrimination, national

origin and race discrimination, religious discrimination, sexual discrimination. If the policies are in written form it will help to employer to enhance the communication with employees, clarify the expectation and application. It will help in creating the desire culture for the organization and minimizing risk.

HR Policies helps to employees to build the professional attitude at work and provide a guide to employees about the equal employment opportunities (EEO). This policy protects the employee against different arrays of discrimination. Equal employment opportunities protect against any protected category harassment and also guide to the procedure to report the company about any discrimination or harassment. HR policies also restrict the employee not to use drug and alcohol during working hours.

An HR policy prevents sac and termination due to labour work rights .HR policies specify the flexibility of work according to their need i.e. full time, part time, and temporary, on contract. On the bases of these classifications it defined the benefits i.e. leave of absence maternity leave, sick leave, career break, bonus, etc

An HR policy also provides the opportunities of in-service training will helps to employees to grow professionally and personally to built and develop their existing skill. According to the policy the use of telephone and internet is restricted only for office use only. Employees are not allowed to use these company resources for personal use. It helps the employees to concentrate on work during working hours.

Disadvantages of HR policies

The main disadvantage of written HR policies is that HR experts say that written policies are a necessity and a must and lawyers of employment think they are dangerous and can be used against someone in the case of a lawsuit.

The only thing that is true for companies is change and if policies are written they have to be updated in order to adapt to the changes. For this reason organizations have to make revisions to HR policies very often but they have to be very careful when they want to update their policies because what may apply for one person at one time may be generalized by others in the company and that may become a problem.

Changes in HR policies can impact every person in the company, and that includes the owner too. Once a change is made it should be communicated to everyone and that is also a disadvantage because some people could not see it if it is not done properly. So companies could publish it in bulletin boards, send an email to all employees and owner, call everyone for a meeting, etc.

Sometimes when policies are written they are not very flexible and this is a problem sometimes for simple things that would end up with getting stuck because of a simple policy.

Advantages of HR policies

Clearly written well developed policies will enhance communications with employees, future expectations, and provide guide to application. These are all important factors in creating a desirable culture for a company and minimizing legal risk. It is very important for business to implement and maintain the human resource policies in their everyday operations.

Human resource policies are the formal rules and guidelines that businesses put in place to hire, train, assess, and reward the members of their work force. These policies are organized as employee manual or large postings. These policies also help to eliminate any misunderstandings between employees and employers about their rights and obligations in the business environment. ((Dessler G. 2004)

High performance work practise aligned with strategy would reduce labour turnover, increase productivity and increase financial performance. (Huselid M. 1995)

HR policies can raise employee’s rights awareness and help them to find remedies for discrimination at work i.e. age discrimination, disability, colour discrimination, national origin and race discrimination, religious discrimination, sexual discrimination. If the policies are in written form it will help to employer to enhance the communication with employees, clarify the expectation and application. It will help in creating the desire culture for the organization and minimizing legal risk. (Dessler G. 2004)

HR Policies helps to employees to build the professional attitude at work and provide a guide to employees about the equal employment opportunities. This policy protects the employee against different arrays of discrimination. Equal employment opportunities protect against any protected category harassment and also guide to the procedure to report the company about any discrimination or harassment. HR policies also restrict the employee not to use drug, alcohol and smoking during working hours inside the company premises.

An HR policy prevents sac and termination due to labour work rights .HR policies specify the flexibility of work according to their need i.e. full time, part time, and temporary, on contract. On the bases of these classifications it defined the benefits i.e. leave of absence maternity leave, sick leave, career break, bonus, personal leaves (bereavement, voting, appointment etc.

Health and safety legislation and regulation protect the employees from hazard of work place and it improve the performance of employees and company by reducing the cost associated with the accident ,disabilities, absenteeism, or illness. (Bratton et al 2001)

An HR policy also provides the opportunities of in-service training will helps to emplyees to grow professionally and personally to built and deveop their existing skill. It also restrict the personal use of telephone/fax and internet. Employess are not allowed to use these company resources for personal use. It helps the empolyees to concentrtate on work during working hours.

These policies also related to performance evaluations ,salary increases and performance improvement will help employees to develop their career and prospective future. On the other hand termination policies are wise to have that the company can terminate employment with or without notice or reason.

These policies help if company grow bigger and employ enough people, so these policies will be easy to administer and can save management time that can be spent on other business activities i.e. Company production & development, competitive analysis, marketing campaigns, etc. And written policies will help to eliminates some of the risk of employees claiming something different. HR policies make good sense to employer and employees to be aware of company expectations and efficient work to minimize risk. (Mathis et al 2006)


After a plenty of data gathered from primary and secondary data we come to a conclusion that Policies tailored with business values and goals presented in an written way will genuinely support and reinforce the employer’s key goals, but those Formal, written HR policies needs to meet the character and the culture of the workforce together with Line managers to deliver the correct message in order to the organization achieve success and be distinctive of others.

Initial insights of authors believe that organizational changes involved in an approach that HR policies seeks to respond to companies and individual needs, based on this statement we can point that Hr policies are necessary, whether formal or informal, written or unwritten. Main point is that they will produce a number of advantages for the organisations, as well as promote changes in a soft way, as they are monitored and announced by the line managers or specialist into deliver and compromise the company rules.


Bratton J., Gold J., ‘Human Resource Management theory and practise’ 2003, 3rd edition Palgrave Macmillan, NY USA, chap 4 & 5

Dessler G., Human Resource Management 10th Edition, Pearson/Prentice Hall USA (2004) chap 1-3

Huselid M. 1995, ‘The impact of Human Resource Management practices on turnover, productivity, and corporate financial performance’, Academy of management journals, USA, vol: 38, No: 3, Page: 635 to 672

Mathis L.R., Jackson H. J. (2006), ‘Human Resource Management’ 11th edition, Thomson South Western USA, full book


Robert L., David B., ‘Human Resource Management in virtual Organization’ Information age Publisher, 2002 Chapter 4 & 3

Raymond A. ‘Human Resource Management: Gaining a competitive advantages’, 1997, Irwin Publisher, Chapter 6

Sims R. ‘Human Resource Management: Contemporary Issues, challenges, and opportunities’ 2006, Information age Publisher USA chap 1

Huczynski A., Buchanan D. 2001 ‘ Organizational Behaviour’ Pearson education Ltd, Harlow , UK, Chap 20

Johnson, G., Scholes, K. and Whittington, R. (2006) Exploring Corporate Strategy, 7th Ed. Essex or London: Pearson Education Limited.

Leat, Mike. (1998) Human Resource Issues of the European Union London: Financial Times Pitman Publishing.

Harrison, Rosemary (1998) Employee Development London: People and Organisations.

Cole, G. A. (1997) Personnel Development, 4th Ed. London: Letts Educational.

Brown, Duncan. (2001) Reward strategies: From Intent to Impact London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Beardwell, Julie & Claydon, Tim (2007) Human Resource Management: A Contemporary Approach, 5th Ed. London: Prentice Hall.

Taylor, Stephen (2002) People Resourcing, 2nd Ed. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Jackson, S. W., Newham, T. & Gurney, M (2005) HR Outsourcing: The Key Decisions London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Torrington, D & Hall, L (1995) Personnel Management: HRM in Action, 3rd Ed. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

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