These are continuing guidelines on the approach the organisation intends to adopt in managing its employees.

Policies define the philosophies and values of the organisation on how people should be treated. It is from these policies that principles on how managers are expected to behave and act when dealing with Human resource matters are derived.

The policies therefore serve as reference points when HR practises are being developed and when decisions about employees are being made.

A policy thus provides generalised guidance on the approach adopted by the organisation, and therefore its employees concerning various aspects of employment.

A procedure on the other hand spells out precisely what action should be taken in line with the policy.


HR objectives are derived from the overall corporate goals of an organisation. The organisations corporate goals precede the objectives formulated by the Human Resource. In other words the organisation defines its goals; the strategic direction it intends to take and then the HR formulate their strategies to support and achieve the corporate objectives and strategies chosen.

There are 2 types of objectives at this level:

a) The desire to increase efficiency

This refers to the comparison between inputs needed to produce a given level of output against the actual amount produced.

Efficient organisations maximize outputs while minimising inputs.

HR decisions affect the organisation’s efficiency by employing the workforce (human capital) in the most efficient manner and ensuring optimal capacity utilization.

The inclination to maintain equity

This is the perceived fairness of both the procedures used to make HR decisions and the decisions themselves.

In other words the HR decisions made should not only be fair and beyond reproach but must be seen to be so.

Many people are interested in the rules and procedures used to decide pay increases, hiring, laying off staff, promotions as well as the effects of these decisions.

Proper policies therefore provide the criteria and the basis on which decisions are made.


  1. Policies offer an objective approach to issues in line with Corporate values and principles, whenever dealing with issues affecting people
  2. They provide frameworks on which consistent decisions are made.
  3. They promote equity in the way people are treated in the workplace
  4. They provide guidance to managers on what action or decision should be made in particular circumstances.
  5. They facilitate empowerment, devolved authority and delegation in decision makinge. where the policy is clear on what should be done there is often little need to make reference to management for guidance but only make recommendation along the policy guidelines.
  6. They eliminate discretionary decisions, which are often the source of conflict and prejudice.
  7. They can be useful in shaping the corporate culture of an institution.

In order to make prudent decisions devoid of any prejudice, managers need to follow the 4 P’s of management in the order of Policy, Procedure, Precedence and professional Personal opinion.

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