Half your staff don’t know company policies

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Does it sometimes seem like employees don’t know what the HR policies are until after they’ve broken them? It might be true – a new study shows just 53% of respondents claim to “have knowledge of their employer’s HR guidelines.”

Fewer still are aware of their company’s structure (43%) and as for that corporate social responsibility policy you put together? Less than a quarter (23%) has a clue. “Given the importance of clear published codes, we were surprised by how low the awareness of HR guidelines was amongst office workers,” David Saul, managing director of Business Environment, which ran the survey, said. “Information such as company structure and HR policy is often imparted as part of the induction process, so it is especially disheartening that the information is only retained by a minority of people,” Saul said.

A good starting point may be to require all staff to sign a policy receipt acknowledgement, HR consultant Susan Heathfield said. While it doesn’t ensure staff will retain the information, it makes sure that if there are issues with an employee breaking rules, HR can show that they confirmed they had read, and understood the policy.

As for day-to-day understanding, consider sending a weekly or monthly newsletter a good way to boost engagement with company news  and include a reminder of relevant policies. These reminders may include dress codes at the start of summer, vacation reminders as you get closer to Thanksgiving and Christmas, and internet policy reminders when there’s a news story based on breaches at other companies.


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