Human resource policies can be expressed as overall statements of the philosophy of the organisation and of its values.

The overall policy defines how the organisation fulfils its social responsibilities for its workers and sets out its attitudes towards the workers. It is an expression of its values or beliefs about how people should be treated. Any organisation gets its reputation from its value systems.

The values expressed in an overall statement of HR policies may explicitly or implicitly refer to the following:


This refers to the treatment of employees fairly and justly. It includes amongst others policies that are deliberately put in place and aimed at:

  1. Protecting individuals from any unfair decisions made by their managers
  2. Providing equal opportunities for employment (EEO)
  3. Providing fair and impartial promotion policy
  4. Creating a fair and impartial disciplinary policy
  5. Operating an equitable payment system

Decisions made by management in the organisation must be fair and founded on sound policies and should be seen to be so in the eyes of the employees.


Refers to taking into account individual circumstances when making decisions that affect the prospects, security or self-respect of employees.

In any decision making prudent managers should evaluate all the intervening circumstances and then make judgement based on this. Employees should be given the benefit of doubt whenever circumstances indicate that the employee for instance did their best, even if the policy states otherwise.

Decisions should also never seek to undermine the person of the employee, and direct references that may undermine the self-respect, or esteem of the employee should be avoided.


Organisational learning refers to the enhancement of skills, knowledge and attitudes needed to improve work performance and also prepare staff to take up higher responsibilities in the organisation.

A belief and commitment in the need to promote the learning and development of all members of the organisation by providing the processes and support required.

The organisation should endeavourto continuously develop and maintain highly skilled employees by investing in training and development courses for all members of staff.


This refers to the significance attached to developing a performance culture and to continuous improvement.

In performance management a mutual agreement is made on the expectations of each party i.e. the employer defines his expectations to the employee and both of them agree on the objectives/targets to be met.

A fair and impartial evaluation or assessment is then carried out at the end of the agreed duration to evaluate how well the employees are performing .reward and training considerations can then be determined from the outcomes of the appraisal.


This is a conscious and continuous objective to improve the quality of working life.

This involves:

  1. Increasing the self-esteem and satisfaction of employees in the work place through encouragement and recognition.
  2. Reducing monotony in the place of work by offering challenges to employees (job rotation or job enrichment, job enlargement could be used)
  3. Delegation e. shared responsibility through assignment of duties to subordinate officers.
  4. Devolved authority e. reassignment of authority and influence in certain areas to subordinate officers
  5. Adopting motivational strategies aimed at enhancing morale & reducing stress at work (recognition, bonuses, commissions, honoraria, lunch, overtime, time offs, salary increments, extra mural activities g. choir, sports club.)
  6. Impartial reward systems – fair grading structures and compensation scheme which have regard to the job compensable factors like the level of skills, training, experience, mental and physical effort exerted on the job etc.(equal pay for jobs of equal value)
  7. Fair training systems-with proper course objectives and programs
  8. Providing for an acceptable balance between work and outside it. I.e. work –life balance.

This refers to the provision of a healthy, safe and a pleasant working environment.

Here you look at the components of both the physical and administrative work environment.

Under the physical work environment you look at the minimum work place standards, which include:

  1. Well lit and ventilated office and working space at correct temperatures
  2. Facilities such as toilets and sanitation provision (water, soap dryers. hand towels tissue etc.)
  3. Fire safety standards and fire fighting equipment
  4. Provision of basic working tools, equipment and protective clothing
  5. Putting up suitable notices and signs to direct staff and clients to entrances and exits (and emergency exits)
  6. First aid facilities for minor on the job injuries and dispensary services
  7. Clean drinking water and canteen facilities
  8. Fire escapes which are well lit and an evacuation area.
  9. Changing facilities for staff
  10. Noise reduction and pollution free work environment
  11. Rest and waiting areas for staff and visitors
  12. Consideration for the disabled staff and customers – ramps for wheel chairs
  13. Adequate working space in terms of area etc.
Under the administrative work environment you examine at the following:
  1. The Policies and procedures on health and safety in the work place that create an enabling and conducive work environment.
  2. Evaluating the management style and supervision
  3. Proper reporting processes for incidents and accidents in the work place
  4. A communication policy -Communication of the strategic plan & direction of the organisation to employees
  5. Promotion of team work (involvement and participation)
  6. Safety information for staff and customers
  7. Risk assessment in all areas of the organisation, (the risk assessment must be written down.)


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