HRM policies, procedures and programs


Definition of HRM Policy

Each and every organization has it’s laid down HRM policy depending upon their business activities and policy followed by their competitors. There is no hard and fast rule that certain organization has to follow a particular policy.

A policy is a plan of action. Brewster and Richbell defined HRM policies as, “a set of proposals and actions that act as a reference point for managers in their dealings with employees�. Personnel policies constitute guides to action. They furnish the general standards or bases on which decisions are reached. Their genesis lies in an organization’s values, philosophy, concepts and principles�. Personnel policies guide the course of action intended to accomplish personnel objectives. The following example helps to understand the personnel policy clearly.
Example: One of the personnel objectives of Indian Railways is to provide equal employment opportunities to the people of minority sections.

What is HRM Procedure?

Policies are general instructions whereas procedures are specific applications. A procedure is a well thought out course of action. It prescribes the specific manner in which a piece of work is to be done. Procedures are called ‘action guidelines’. They are generally derived from policies. Where policies define a broad field, procedures show a sequence of activities within that area. The emphasis is on chronological, step-by-step sequence of required actions. For instance, a student is required to complete several itemized steps in order to register himself to complete several itemized steps in order to register himself for courses in a university. The basic purpose of a procedure is to spell out clearly the way one is to go about doing something.

The policy, referred to earlier, might be translated into action through the following procedure, given are a few examples:

Railway Policy
All zonal railways will fill 15% and 7.5% of their vacancies in Group C and Group D categories from the candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes respectively. If suitable candidates are not available from these communities, the vacancies such as loco driver, signaling staff, station master will be filled by candidates belonging to other communities. In case of vacancies in other jobs, they should be filled only by the candidates belonging to scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in future. However, North-East Frontier Railway can fill even these vacancies by the candidates belonging to other communities, if the candidates from scheduled communities are not available. In case of jobs in Group A and B, candidates belonging to scheduled caste and scheduled tribes will be given preference if they are equally qualified and meritorious than those of other communities.
Another example of policy and procedure is as follows:

Pay Policy of Andhra Bank

The bank believes in paying at least the prevailing scale of salary for similar work in comparable organizations. The bank also believes in giving consideration to significant changes in the cost of living.

The procedures is — Fix the pay of clerks, cashiers, typists equal to the lowest pay given by any public sector in the country. Fix the pay of officers according to the recommendations of the Pillai Committee.

TATA Steel’s Personnel Policy
The personnel policy of Tata Steel, as contained in the Statement of Objectives, is given below. The Company tries to take care of its employees—-

* By a realistic and generous understanding and acceptance of their needs and rights and enlightened awareness of the social problems of industry.
* By providing adequate wages, good working conditions, job security, an effective machinery for redressal of grievances and suitable opportunities for promotion and self-development through in-company and external programs.
* By treating them as individual, giving them a sense of self-respect and better understanding of their role in the organization and satisfying their urge for self-expression through closer association with management.
* By creating a sense of belonging through human and purposeful activities in an integral part of human relations ensuring their willing co-operations and loyalty

Further, personnel rules and programs help in translating procedures into concrete action. Personal rule spells out specific required action or non-action allowing no discretion. For example:

Paying bonus of 8.33% of the salary (consisting of pay plus dearness allowance)on March 31, 1998 to all the confirmed employees who had completed minimum one year of continuous service as on March 31, 1998.

Personnel programs are complex sets of goals, policies, procedures, rules steps to be taken, resources to be employed, and other elements necessary to carry out a given course of action. It can be said that rules and programs are aids to policy.

The aforesaid write up on HRM policy helps the managers to take administrative and disciplinary actions and also make the employees feel that the management’s treatment is rational and they are getting adequate compensation for their work along with proper growth. No doubt the policy may be modified as and when required to suit the changes in business environment which the organization has to follow to survive competition. Consequently the procedures and rules follow the changes in the HRM policy.

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