The dictionary meaning of “policy” is a “plan of action” and that “plan” is a policy. Policy and planning are, therefore, synonymous.
“A policy,” says Flippo, “is a man-made rule of pre-determined course of action that is established to guide the performance of work to ward the organisatoin objectives. It is a type of standing plan that serves to guide subordinates in the execution of their tasks.” According to Calhoon Personnel policies constitute guides to action. They furnish the general standards or bases on which decisions are reached. They furnish the general lies in an organization’s values, philosophy, concepts and principles.” “Policies are statements of the organization’s over-all purposes and its objectives in the various areas with which its operations are concerned – personnel, finance, and production marketing and so on.”
Yoder observes: “A policy is a per-determined, selected course established as a guide towards accepted goals and objectives… They establish the framework of guiding principles that facilitate delegation to lower levels and permit individual managers to select appropriate tactics or programmes. In contrast to these, personnel policies are those that individuals have developed to keep them on the rack towards their personnel objectives. Management policies are developed by working organisatoins to keep them on course headed and directed toward their organizational objectives. These define the intentions of the organisatoin and serve as guidelines to give consistency and continuity to total operations.
Thus, personnel policies refer to principles and rules of conduct which “formulate, redefine, break into details and decide a number of actions” that govern the relationship with employees in the attainment of the organisation objectives. Personnel policies are:
(i) The key-stone in the arch of management and the life-blood for the successful functioning of the personnel management because, without these policies, there cannot be any lasting improvements in labour management relations;
(ii) The statements of intention indicating and agreement to a general course of actions, indicating specifically what the organisation proposes to do and, thus, suggests the values and viewpoints which dominate the organization’s actions; and
(iii) A positive declaration and command to an organisation. They translate the goals of an organisation into selected routes and provide general guidelines that both prescribe and proscribe programmes which, in turn, dictate practices and procedures.
Aims and Objectives of Personnel Policies
A management’s personnel policy should have two types of objectives, general and specific. The statement of general objectives should express the top management’s basic philosophy of human resources and reflect its deep underlying convictiosn as to the importance of people in an organisatoin and of the management activity which deals with people. The statement of specific objectives should refer to the various activities of personnel administration connected with staffing, training, developing, wage and salary administration, motivation, employee services and benefits, employee records, labour relations and personnel research.
The aims of personnel policies should be/are:
(i) To enable an organisatoin to fulfill or carry out the main objectives which have been laid down as the desirable minima of general employment policy;
(ii) To ensure that its employees are informed of these items of policy and to secure their co for their attainment;
(iii) To provide such conditions of employment and procedures as will enable all the employees to develop a sincere sense of unity with the enterprise and to carry out their duties in the most willing and effective manner.
(iv) To provide and adequate, competent and trained personnel for all levels and types of management;
(v) To protect the common interests of all the parties and recognize the role of trade unions in the organisation;
(vi) To provide for a consultative participation by employees in the management of an organisation and the framing of conditions for this participation, which however shall not take place in technical, financial or trading policy.
(vii) To provide an efficient consultative service which aims at creating mutual faith among those who work in the enterprise.
a. By developing management leadership which is bold and imaginative and guided and by moral values;
b. By effectively delegating the human relations aspects or personnel functions to line managers;
c. By enforcing discipline on the basis of co-operative understanding and a humane application of rules and regulations; and
d. By providing and a humane application of rules and regulations; and
(viii) To establish the conditions for mutual confidence and avoid confusion and misunderstanding between the management and the workers, by developing suggestion plans, joint management councils, work committees, etc., and by performance appraisal discussions;
(ix) To provide security of employment to works so that they may not be distracted by the uncertainties of their future;
(x) To provide an opportunity for growth within the organisation to persons who are willing to learn and undergo training to improve their further prospectus;
(xi) To provide for the payments of fair and adequate wages and salary to workers so that their healthy co-operation may be ensured for an efficient working of the undertaking;
(xii) To recognize the work and accomplishments of the employee by offering non-monetary incentives; and
(xiii) To create a sense of responsibility, on the part of those4 in authority, for the claims-of employees as human beings, who should be guaranteed production of their fundamental rights and offered enough scope developing their potential.
Need for Personnel Policy
Personnel policies need be specifically created because of the following reasons:
(i) The basic need and requirements of both an organisation and its employees require deep thought. The management is required to examine its basic-convictions as well as give full consideration to practices in other organisatoins.
(ii) Established policies ensure consistent treatment of all personnel throughout an organisatoin. Favoritism and discrimination are thereby minimized.
(iii) A certainly of action is assured even though the top management personnel may change. The tenure of the office of any manager is finite and limited; but the organisation continues and along with it continue the policies; and this continuity of policies promotes stability in an organisation.
(iv) Because they specify routes towards selected goals, policies serve as standards or measuring yards for evaluating performance. The actual results can be compared with the policies to determine how well the members of an organisation have lived up to their profees intentions.
(v) Sound policies help to build employee enthusiasm and loyalty. This is specially true when they reflect established principles of fair play and justice, and when they help people to grow within an organisation.
(vi) Policies are “control guides for delegated decision making”. They seek to ensure consistency and uniformity in decisions on problems, “that recur frequently and under similar, but not identical, circumstances.’
Principles of Personnel Policies
In designing personnel policies, the management must balance the needs, goals, objectives and values of both the employees and the employees. Since these policies are rules of conduct, they are based on the following principles.
(i) Put the right man in the right place by a car selection and placement to make sure that the is physically, mentally and temperamentally fit for the job he is expected to do and that the new employee may be reasonably expected to develop into a desirable employee, so that “there will be the minimum number of square pegs in round holes.”
(ii) Train everyone for the job to be done, so that they qualify for better jobs, so that their accomplishments are limited to their ambitions and abilities, so that they do their present work very efficiently.
(iii) Make the organisation a co-ordinated team through a proper co ordinate and administration of different departments and divisions, that there is a minimum amount of friction and unproductive or unnecessary work. This calls for proper planning and organisation, control and direction of the entire organisation without destroying the initiative of the individual employee.
(iv) Supply the right tools and the right conditions of work, for the better the tools, facilities and working conditions, the larger the output produced with the same human effort at lower costs so that, ultimately the higher wages may be paid and more good jobs provided.
(v) Give security with opportunity, incentive, recognition. In order that he may stick to his job, each employee should have sound incentives for work, such as fair compensation, recognition for results achieved, reasonable security, and opportunity and hope for advancement in the organisation.
(vi) Look ahead, plan ahead for more and better things: