Wednesday, November 4, 2015

We Only Need One HR Policy

I’ve been in human resources for twenty years. I’ve written, revised, edited, printed, emailed, posted and leveraged policies to make decisions over and over again. Too many times following the policies morphed into the focus of the work…instead of the work being the focus of the work.

Sound familiar?

We Need A Policy for “That”
My favorite policy of all time is the “policy on policies.” You know the one. It describes the proper format, headers, indentations, when to bold and not to bold, etc. Argh!

How has such a high impact function in the organization devolved into a paper pushing bureaucratic machine? 

It’s as if we in human resources believe we are the core business, when in fact we are the engine that fuels the core business. I’ve even seen policies called “Policy on ___.” 

Seriously? We love them so much we even put the word policy first! 

All for One and One for All
Here’s where I'm going with this concept. The noise, criticism, and candidly glacier-like movement that typically comes from HR relative to change must end. The one-policy approach can send a powerful message to the organization, that no longer will human resources hide behind a stack of excuses…er, paper…any longer.

Here's my human resources policy of the future:

“We will follow all applicable laws that impact our organization and will treat each team member with respect as we strive to be a truly world class company.”


How About You
One policy says it all. The only piece you need to ensure you keep track of is the consistent practices for various issues so as to avoid unwarranted discrimination or third party claims. Let’s start moving away from the paper, and get into the business of driving the business forward.

I’d love to hear from you.

No Excuses.



  1. But we need a clarifying statement that says, "If you do something stupid, there will be consequences."