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General HR Policies and Procedures

Many Big companies have an HR department, which is responsible for administrating the employees’ benefits and managing the employee life cycle(which means recruiting, hiring, onboarding, training, and firing the employees). Many companies have their own HR policies, according to their rules and requirements.

If you own a company and want to frame an HR department, or if you are someone who is joining a company, and want to know about some general HR policies and procedures, which are common to many organizations, or industries, then this is the right place for you. Here, we will try to discuss some of the general HR policies and procedures, that are followed in many organizations, and you can enable those in your organization as well. These HR policies are going to be general, but you may modify them, according to your company/startup, and we will also try to mention some HR policies that can be useful for different companies and startups.

General HR Policies and Procedures

We will try to explain it in a simple language, so that it becomes easier to understand and implement, so let’s begin.

What is HR Policies? OR HR Policy Meaning

First of all, if you are completely new to HR policies and procedures, you might want to know what is HR policies, even before you turn to understand what are some general HR policies. If you are familiar with HR policies, then you may go further reading some general HR policies, but I would recommend this as a 2-minute read for you.

So Human Resource Policies, or HR policies are a set of rules and guidelines, that are put by businesses, organizations, or companies, for the management of their employees, along with this, there are HR procedures, which are some step-by-step instructions to specify the set of actions to be taken, to follow those policies. The HR department works towards creating, maintaining, and modifying these policies and procedures.

The HR policies often cover a variety of different types of HR policies, which include the following –

  • Recruitment of employees
  • Employee Performance Evaluation
  • Vacations
  • Overtime
  • Personal Leave, Sick Leave
  • Termination
  • Employee Problems
  • Employee Management

As it can be seen that Employee related most of things are covered under the HR policies, also, from time to time, for new mistakes, the policies could be modified, or new policies and procedures might be created.

HR Policies of Companies

Now that you are familiar with what HR policies and procedures are, let’s have a look at some of the General HR policies, which are a part of many Human Resource Management practices, and which you should also consider including in your company/startup HR policies because they are essential in many cases. Let’s first mention them in points, and then we will try to describe them.

  • Employee Health and Safety Policy
  • Meal and Break Policy
  • Policy for working hours and overtime
  • Employee attendance policy
  • Policy for leaves, taking time off from work and holidays
  • Policy for anti-harassment and non-discrimination.
  • Work from Home Related Policy
  • Social Media Policy
  • Policy for Confidentiality
  • Policy for Personal Devices
  • Policy for Consumption of Alcohol and Drugs
  • At-will employment policy
  • Termination policy
  • Policy for performance evaluation and promotion
  • Expense Policy

Now that we have listed the policies that we are going to talk about, let’s have a look at them in brief, one by one. Please note that these policies are ordered randomly in this article, and you may consider including one or more policies in your Company / Startup.

Employee Health and Safety Policy

Since most of the employees are working in your environment, it is essential to take care of their health and ensure safety for them. At different types of workplaces, there might be different kinds of potential hazards, and employers need to ensure the safety of the employees against these hazards. Along with some legal requirements at your workplace, it would be great to include procedures related to safety, and emergency procedures in your HR policies. You can mention this in detailed specifications, as per the requirements.

Meal and Break Policy

This type of policy also makes sense at an organization or a startup. While what this policy includes may depend on your company/startup structure, that’s an essential policy for your company. The employers need to provide the employees with breaks for meals, for resting, and in cases of lactation. It would be great to establish a policy for the same, which states the rules and regulations related to this policy, like frequency of breaks, duration, and more. In many companies, you might have seen the companies allowing 1 hour as a lunch break for the employees, and in the cases of banks, you might have seen half an hour of lunch break.

Policy for working hours and overtime

As the employees would be working in, and for your organization, you would need to mention in the HR policies of your company/startup, the flexibility of the working hours in your organization, how many breaks can be taken in between, when to log in and logout, and any information related to overtime working, and how is it compensated. This ensures clarity with the employees related to their time, compensation related to their working hours, flexibility related to the working hours, and any information related to overtime work.

Employee attendance policy

This type of policy ensures the employee punctuality and attendance in the organization, according to their assigned shifts. This policy clearly states the expectations of the employers regarding employee attendance and expects the employees to get to work on time, on specified shifts. It also describes the procedures for informing the concerned authorities of any late arrivals, or about leaves in advance, or explanation related to any unexpected absence on working days. The policy can also highlight the consequences an employee might face for violating the policy.

Policy for leaves, taking time off from work and holidays

In your company, from time to time, there would be some holidays, or employees might want to take holidays from work for any reason, and they might wonder how many leaves are they granted, what if they surpass the leaves, and more. So, it would be great to have a policy regarding the same. So, you can just create a policy, which mentions the amount of leaves the employees can have, a policy regarding holidays, or what would be the benefits when an employee takes off from work. This may include things like –

  • Parental Leave
  • Sick Leave
  • Bereavement Leave
  • Public Holidays.
  • Occasions
  • Vacations

So, any kind of leave can be covered in this kind of policy, and you can amend the policy in your organization, to ensure clarity with the employees.

Policy for anti-harassment and non-discrimination

While the employees are working in your environment, you should make sure that all the employees are safe in your environment, by establishing a concrete policy by clearly prohibiting any kind of discrimination and harassment within and around the organization. This policy would help protect the employees, who face any problems due to other employees.

Work from Home Related Policy

In recent times, technology has enabled many work-from-home or remote working opportunities. Through this policy, you can explain any information related to working from home, or remote working within your company. For example, you could include –

  • Which positions within your organization are eligible for remote work?
  • How would you monitor the remotely working employees
  • What would be policies related to time management for remote-working employees?
  • What are the limitations for the employees working remotely?
  • How would the company handle any misbehavior from the employee during the remote job?

So, as it can be seen, any policy related to working from home, or remote working, can be mentioned here.

Social Media Policy

In many cases, a company/startup might require its employees to restrict their employees’ activities on Social media, for any reasons, you might not want the employees to click pictures within your office, and post on Social media, so you can clearly write the policy related to Social media, and strictly apply the policy, taking strict actions against anyone who violates the rules.

Policy for Confidentiality

Within your company/startup, you might want your employees to keep some of the information private, and non-disclosable to anyone outside the organization, and even inside the organization. You can impose strict actions against anyone who violates the rule of confidentiality.

Policy for Personal Devices

In many cases, employees may want, or you might require the employees to use their devices, including mobile, tablet, Laptop, or desktop. In such cases, any company must take essential security measures, to ensure how you would monitor their device usage in the working time, what environment you would be using, or any limitations you might impose while they are using personal devices for organizational works.

Policy for Consumption of Alcohol and Drugs

In many companies, it’s a requirement for the companies to take strict actions against Alcohol and drug consumption, because it can create safety issues in many cases, like factory work, or on-site work, hinder customer relations, and raise concerns on company reputations. So, it is an important move to restrict the employees from consumption of Alcohol and drugs on duty, on-site, or within working hours, etc.

At-will employment policy

This kind of policy states that the company and the employee may terminate their working relationship following any lawful reason at, any anytime. Many organizations usually consider this as an essential policy, because it helps them organize the working relationships with employees, and ensure the company’s growth through productive employees. So, this is an essential policy, that should be even orally told to the employee at the time of onboarding.

Termination policy

This policy is focused on employee termination, which states how the company expects an employee’s resignation, what notice period the employee has to serve before termination, and also you may mention in what cases the employee would be terminated by the company.

Policy for performance evaluation and promotion

This kind of policy transparently communicates how and when the employee performance would be evaluated, how the employees would be promoted(or even demoted), and how they would be rewarded for their performance throughout the period. This kind of policy is put in place to make sure that the employees are given fair compensation for their work, and that they are motivated to work and grow with the company.

Expense Policy

This policy clearly explains how the expenses are handled in your company/startup. For example, you might have different kinds of employee-related expenses, which you would want to mention here, like any kind of events throughout the year, or some kind of business trip. You might also mention that the employees would spend their own money, and keep track of what and how they spend, and the amount would be reimbursed by your organization.


In this article, we have mentioned some of the essential HR policies that can be followed by many companies/startups and HR policies for employees. Even you can include any/all of the above-stated policies in your company/startup, to ensure transparency and clarity with the employees. The HR policies also help streamline the process of employee management and deal with many/any kind of problems related to employees within the organization.

We hope that you got to know some useful information related to HR policies and procedures through our article. This article is just for informational purposes, and we try to provide the best information to our audience as we can.

FAQs related to General HR Policies and Procedures

Q: What is HR?

Ans: HR, or Human Resources, is a department under the organization, which looks after employee management, and manages the entire employee life cycle.

Q: What kind of policies might be there in HR Policies?

Ans: There could be any kind of policies in concern with the company and/or employee, and it may include policies related to leave, confidentiality, safety policies, remote work policy, etc.

Q: What if you violate HR policies in the organization?

Ans: If you violate any policies in the organization, it may result in anything from small penalties to suspension, to termination, and legal consequences in case of serious offenses.


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