Communicating HR Policies

Last Updated Aug 5, 2009 7:07 PM EDT

I believe this is an important topic because it is where some companies fall down and open themselves up to litigation.

Regularly communicating HR policies that spell out accepted codes of conduct and define breaches such as harassment and bullying build a better defence for the employer --- it makes it less likely for an employee to say in their defence "I didn't know what I was doing was wrong".

Company policies are supposed to be living documents and should be updated in line with any changes to laws or address any potential HR issues such as the explosion of social media/networking use around the world. Updating the policy is the first step, but the most crucial part of the process is communicating the changes to staff.

There are a number of ways you can communicate policies to your employees:

  • Distribute a handbook to all employees and have them sign an acknowledgement that they have read and understood all policies contained in the handbook
  • Have a public HR library of full and up-to-date policy information --- public drive, wiki, intranet etc
  • For new or amended policies, notify staff of the changes via email with key points highlighted
  • Regular brown bag sessions of policy updates or changes
How do you make sure all employees are aware of your policies? How do you keep them updated? Let me know what you think in the talkback section at the end of this post.
  • Melissa Lourenco

    Melissa is the HR manager for CBS Interactive (CBSi) in Australia. She graduated from the University of Sydney, majoring in Human Resource Management and prior to joining CBSi worked in a variety of generalist HR roles. When not wearing the HR/UN hat, she likes to curl up on the couch with her e-book, add/rearrange songs on her iPod, go to the movies and play the odd RPG on her PC. If you have questions or comments for Mel, send them to hr@cnet.com.au.