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 lay down the criteria for decision making in accordance with the overall purpose of the organisation. The policies for human resources are formulated by the top management for assisting the executives to deal with the personnel at work.

Therefore, the personnel policies are the interpretations of the recognized intentions of the top management in relation to the personnel of the organisation. The principles and rules of conduct governing the dealings of the organisation with its employees are covered under the personnel policies.

Learn about:-


1. Introduction of Personnel Policies 2. Meaning of Personnel Policies 3. Definitions 4. Need 5. Characteristics 6. Objectives 7. Factors Influencing

8. Importance 9. Principles 10. Types 11. Process 12. Responsibility Policies Making 14. Coverage 15. Mechanism of Policies Formulation.

Personnel Policies: Meaning, Definitions, Need, Objectives, Importance, Principles, Types, Formulation and Process


  1. Introduction of Personnel Policies
  2. Meaning of Personnel Policies
  3. Definitions of Personnel Policies
  4. Need of Personnel Policies
  5. Characteristics of a Sound Personnel Policies
  6. Objectives of Personnel Policies
  7. Factors Influencing Personnel Policies
  8. Importance of Personnel Policies
  9. Principles of Personnel Policies
  10. Types of Personnel Policies
  11. Process of Formulation of Personnel Policies
  12. Responsibility for Personnel Policies Making
  13. Coverage of the Personnel Policies
  14. Mechanism of Personnel Policies Formulation

Personnel Policies   Introduction

A policy is a man-made rule of predetermined course of action that is established to guide the performance of work towards the organisation objectives. It is a type of standing plan that serves to guide subordinates in the execution of their tasks.


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 Keystone is the arch of management and the lifeblood for the successful functioning of the personnel management because, without these policies, there cannot be any lasting improvement in labour-management relations.

(ii) The statements of intention indicating an agreement to a general course of action, indicating specifically what the organisation proposes to do and, thus, suggest the values and viewpoints which dominate the organisation’s actions; and


(iii) A positive declaration and a 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.

To perform their functions and responsibilities efficiently and successfully, personnel policies must be prepared by all personnel executives beforehand. Well considered and balanced personnel policies are the base of sound manpower management.

They bring uniformity in personnel decisions, proper control and coordination among workers. These are essential for perfect running of the organisation. The objective and positive personnel management is possible only when management prepares personnel policies.

Personnel Policies   Meaning

The term ‘personnel policy’ is an amalgam of two words – ‘Personnel’ and ‘Policy’ which denotes ‘men made rules, procedures’, etc. Thus, personnel policies constitute guide to action. They furnish the general standards or basis on which decisions are made.

Here are definitions of personnel policies:

“A policy is a man-made rule or pre-determined course of action that is established to guide the performance of work towards the organisational objectives”. (Edwin B. Flippo)

“Personnel policies constitute guide to action. They give the general standard or basis which could give the decisions. Their genesis lies in values, philosophy, concepts and principles of an organisation”. (R.P. Kalhoon)

Thus, it is clear from the above definitions that personnel policies are the statements of organisations overall personnel matters -commencing from their scientific selection to their discharge from work. They help the management in dealing with the ‘man’ of organisation. They are the best guide to management as to what kind of work is to be done by whom and how they all to deal with their fellow workers and how good industrial relations can be maintained within the organisation.

To sum-up personnel policies are the expression of managerial attitude and philosophy towards their workforce which guide them in future personnel decisions. Types of personnel policies – The personnel policies may be of different types such as general personnel policies, specific personnel policies and basic organisational policies, etc.

Personnel Policies – Definitions Propounded by McFarland, Terry and Kotler

“Personnel Policies are planned expressions of the company’s official attitudes towards the range of behaviour within which it will permit or desire its employees to act.” — McFarland


“Personnel Policy is a verbal, written, or implied overall guide, setting up boundaries that supply the general limits and direction in which managerial action will take place.” — Terry

“Policies define how the company deals with stakeholders, employees, customers, suppliers, distributors, and other important groups. Policies narrow the range of individual discretion so that employees act consistently on important issues.” — Kotler

Personnel policies lay down the criteria for decision making in accordance with the overall purpose of the organisation. The policies for human resources are formulated by the top management for assisting the executives to deal with the personnel at work.


Therefore, the personnel policies are the interpretations of the recognized intentions of the top management in relation to the personnel of the organisation. The principles and rules of conduct governing the dealings of the organisation with its employees are covered under the personnel policies.

Personnel Policies  Need

Personnel policies need to be specifically created because of the following reasons:

(i) The basic needs 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 organisations.

(ii) Established policies ensure consistent treatment of all personnel throughout an organisation. Favouritism and discrimination are thereby minimised.


(iii) A certainty 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 continues 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 professed intentions.

(v) Sound policies help to build employee enthusiasm and loyalty. This is especially true when they reflect established principles of fair play and justice, and when they help people to grow within an organisation.

(vi) They set patterns of behaviour and permit participants of plan with a greater degree of confidence.

(vii) 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.”

Personnel Policies   Characteristics

During the course of formulation of personnel policy, the management should consider the following points:


1. It should be in written form.

2. It should be clear, positive and early understood by each and every employee of the organization

3. It should be in the line of corporate objectives.

4. It should be in local language also.

5. It should be generally known to all interested parties.

6. It should be reasonably stable but not rigid.


7. It should be built on the basis of facts and sound judgement.

8. It should provide two way communication system between the management and the employees of the organization.

9. It should be fair and equitable to internal as well as external groups.

10. It should be consistent with public policy.

11. It should support management as well as establish cooperation of employees at the shop floor level and in the office.

12. It should be progressive and enlightened.


13. It should be applicable uniformly throughout the organization.

14. Trade unions should be consulted before formulating a policy.

15. It should be periodically evaluated and revised in tune with changing times.

R. Calhoon suggest that policy should include these features:

1. It should affirm the long range purposes of personnel relations. Such purpose are derived from well thought out principles of philosophy, sociology and ethics.

2. It commits management representatives at all levels to a reaffirmation and reinforcement of this purpose in their daily decisions and behaviour.


3. It indicates the scope for discretion when a long term purpose is interpreted in a variety of specific situations and over a period of time.

Personnel Policies – Principal Aims and Objectives

The principal aims and objectives of personnel policies may be listed thus:

(i) To enable an organisation to fulfil 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 co­operation 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 an adequate, competent and trained personnel for all levels and types of management; and motivate them;

(v) To protect the common interests of all the parties and recognise the role of trade unions in the organisations;

(vi) To provide for a consultative participation by employees in the management of an organisation and the framing of conditions for this participation, this, however, shall not take place in technical, financial or trading policy;

(vii) To provide an efficient consultative service – this aims at creating mutual faith among those who work in the enterprise-

(a) By developing management leadership which is bold and imaginative and guided by moral values;

(b) By effectively delegating the human relations aspects of 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 for a happy relationship at all levels;

(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 workers 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 future prospects;

(xi) To provide for the payment 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 recognise the work and accomplishments of the employees, by offering non-monetary incentives rewards;

(xiii) To create a sense of responsibility, on the part of those in authority, for the claims of employees as human beings, who should be guaranteed protection of their fundamental rights and offered enough scope for developing their potential.

In brief, personnel policies should respect human dignity and personal integrity, ensure fair treatment for all, irrespective of caste, creed, or colour, and offer reasonable social and economic security to employees.

They should be so designed as to ensure that work and accomplishment are properly recognised, that safety and health conditions of work are created, that common interests are promoted and employee participation is encouraged, that the role of trade unions is recognised and their functions and responsibilities are respected, and that the employees’ satisfaction and motivation and their development as individuals are properly looked after.

Personnel Policies  Factors Influencing Personnel Policy of the Organisation: Management Philosophy, Type of Workforce, Union Objectives and Practices & a Few Others

Following are the factors which influence the personnel policy of the organisation:

Factor # 1. Management Philosophy:

Personnel policy of the organisation is influenced by the philosophy of management.

The following points of management philosophy will affect the personnel policy:

(i) Centralisation and Decentralisation of Management

(ii) Delegation of Power

(iii) Role of Subordinates in Management

Factor # 2. Type of Workforce:

The type of workforce employed and what are the needs of the workforce also affect the formulation of the personnel policy.

Factor # 3. Union Objectives and Practices:

It includes the following considerations which affect the personnel policy of the organisation:

(i) Organisation of the labour force

(ii) Bargaining capacity of the union

(iii) Pressure techniques of the union

(iv) Objectives of the trade union.

Factor # 4. Financial Position of the Organisation:

The personnel policy is formulated after taking in account the financial position of the company.

It includes the following:

(i) Incentives for the employees

(ii) Money to be spent on workforce

(iii) Amenities to be offered to the employees.

Factor # 5. Personnel Policy of the Competitor:

The personnel policy of the firm is also affected by the personnel policy of the competitor. It is because the employees expect from their organisation what the other employees in the similar firms are receiving.

Personnel Policies  Importance of Personnel Policies for a Business Organisation

There is a great controversy as regards the need of personnel policies for business organisations. Some managers claim that personnel policies are essential for perfect and smooth running of the organisations. But on the other hand, there are executives who call them ‘handcuffs to the managers’ which obstruct their independence for work and decision.

They quote that there is a large number of such enterprises which are successfully working without any policy. They are of the opinion as Miller has put “Personnel policies are unnecessary restrictions on our freedom of action. It is a waste of money to have written personnel policies. I think each personnel problem must be handled on its own merits.”

Such thoughts declare that personnel policies are unnecessary and insignificant. But such views are incomplete and illusionary. The personnel policies do not restrict their freedom to decisions but bring consistency and uniformity in their decisions.

Importance of personnel policies for a business organisation can be emphasised by the following facts:

(a) Encouragement of decentralisation – Decentralisation means the distribution of work to different person and departments. Work becomes easy due to personnel policies because every work could be accomplished by an official and he is not required to contact high officers every time for their approval or guidance, etc.

(b) Help in achieving the objectives of organisation – Sound personnel policies help very much in achieving the objectives of the organisation. The formulation of such policies itself requires explanation as regards to objectives and procedures, etc. The efforts of each worker as well as of the management become goal-oriented.

(c) Uniformity in decision – Well drafted personnel policies bring continuity, enormity and consistency in various decisions relative to the employees. They remove the chances of dioecism from decision partiality for some and subdue of the other. In business concerns having written personnel policies do not change with the change in the officials of the company.

(d) Guide to management – Personnel policies guide the management as to what kind of work they should do, how they are to deal with labour, etc. All personnel problems are solved by the help of policies. Hence personnel management is more positive.

(e) Increased moral – Every labourer knows organisation’s aims and objectives. They work as a guide for accomplishment of the work. The moral of workers is increased. Hence policies bring loyalty and stability in the organisation.

(f) Evolution of performance – Policies are decided for the completion of objectives. Hence, they act as a standard for valuation of workability. Policy is compared with real work. It is possible to know as to who is and how much he is successful in accomplishment of the objectives.

(g) Help in proper control – Policies control important personnel acts and workers. Policies clarify the relations among management, organisation and worker. Hence every group does its own quota of work and there is no occasion for collision.

(h) Guarantee of security – Personnel policies guarantee for their security if they are not the member of the labour union as policies make no difference for the member and non-members of the union. Workers do not fall prey of whims of the supervisors and management.

Personnel Policies  Top 6 Principles: Principles of Participation, Principles of Change, Principle of Common Interests, Principles of Development and a Few Others

Due to the pervasive nature of personnel function it becomes very important and essential to have a group of sound personnel policies in the organisation. The responsibility for the formulation of sound personnel policies rests directly with the top executives of the company. They must be formulated on some definite principles so that their objectives can be achieved efficiently and economically.

The main principles which must be observed in framing personnel policies are as follows:

(a) Principles of Participation:

Workers should be allowed to participate not only in the formulation of these policies but in the management also. This will solve many problems properly and quickly. Modernisation, automation and such other problems can be minimised with the cooperation of workers.

(b) Principles of Change:

Personnel policies can develop the sense of belief in opposition of labour trust and awakening. They will have to bear the loss caused due to scientific and technical change. The policies should be flexible enough to cope up with the changes in technical, economic and social factors.

Personnel policies are naturally influenced by many factors – tradition in the particular industry, technological developments, competition, social approval, the prevailing attitude of organised labour, government regulations, ideals of the management, etc.

(c) Principle of Common Interests:

Personnel policies must be based on the principles of common interests. Both the parties should think that their interests are not separate but are alike and they can be achieved only by common efforts.

(d) Principles of Development:

In the organisation workers should be given proper occasion for development, so that their social and economic status is increased. Labour should feel responsibility for himself.

(e) Principles of Recognition:

Nowadays for good industrial relations, recognition of trade unions is a must. The work, liabilities, responsibilities and the parts played by the labour unions should be appreciated. The human dignity of workers should be honoured.

(f) Principles of Work and Accomplishment:

Workers not only want security of work but also desire good pay, satisfaction of work and appraisal of their work. Hence, policy should be as such as – to fulfil the above cited objectives. The personnel policies should be prepared in such a way that the employees feel secured in the organisation. They sword of losing jobs should not hang on the neck of the employees.

They expect good return from their services being offered to the organisation. The compensation package should be good and for that purpose the policy is to be prepared accordingly. The personnel policies should be in position to motivate the employees and they should get job satisfaction.

All these would make the persons to work sincerely and give their best to the organisation so the objectives of the organisation can be fulfilled. This would cut the cost and increase the profitability of the organisation. This should be kept in mind while preparing the policies.

Personnel Policies  2 Types: Functional Grouping of Policies and Centralized Policies

As per opinion of Jucius, there are two types of personnel policies:

1. Functional Grouping of Policies – Are those policies which are grouped for different categories of personnel.

2. Centralized Policies – Are those policies which are formulated at the corporate level of the organization and apply throughout the organization.

There are various types of policies. Jucius identifies two types, viz., functional or organisational groupings of policies; and the centralised policies. The functional grouping of policies are those policies which are grouped for different categories of personnel, e.g., for the management dealing with personnel planning, organising and controlling or for management concerned with functions of procuring developing and utilising manpower.

The centralised policies are framed for companies with several locations. They are formulated at the head office and apply throughout the organisation.

Policies may also be classified as major and minor. Major policies pertain to the overall objectives, procedures and control which affect an organisation as a whole. They cover in a general way nearly every phase of an enterprise and its product and methods of financing, its organisational structure, plant location, its marketing and personnel.

Such policies are formulated by the Board of Directors, and a framework is established within which major executives fit the remaining policies necessary to carry out the major objectives of an organisation.

Minor policies, on the other hand, cover relationships in a segment of an organisation, with considerable emphasis on details and procedures. Such policies are the outgrowth of major policies and preserve their unity of purpose.

Personnel Policies  6 Step Process of Formulation of Personnel Policies

The following steps are followed in the process of formulation of the personnel policy of the organisation:

Step # 1. Gathering Information:

The work of collecting the information from inside and outside the organisation is assigned to the specialists in this field. These specialists collect the relevant information by conducting interviews and conferences.

The committee after collecting the suitable and important information considers the following factors:

(i) Labour Legislation – The several aspects of the personnel matters are often governed by the labour legislations. The personnel policy should be in accordance with the labour laws of the country.

(ii) Social Values and Customs – The personnel policy should take into account the accepted codes of the behaviour of the community.

(iii) Employees’ Aspirations – The personnel policy reflects the intentions of the personnel management of the company. These intentions should aim at the satisfaction of the needs and aspirations of the employees in the organisation.

Step # 2. Environment Study:

The information collected is then divided between the internal environment and external environment. This information is analysed by the information committee and the effect of the changes in environmental situations is also studied. This is because the predicting and monitoring the environmental changes is important for the purpose of policy formulation. This helps in developing the alternative policies.

Step # 3. Examination of Alternative Policies:

The different alternative policies are analysed in terms of their contribution for the achievement of the organisational objectives. The final choice of policy is made with the active participation of those who use and live with the results it gives. If the group of employees is not convinced, the management should examine their views in detail.

Step # 4. Getting Approval of Proposed Policy:

Policy formulation committee shall report to the chief executive its considered opinion integrating the members’ judgement and findings. The personnel manager plays the key role as he is the principal spokesman of the committee. He makes the presentation of the report, so that the top executive can accept the proposed policy.

Step # 5. Adopting and Launching Policy:

The authority to accept or reject the policy totally depends upon the top management. The top management alone can decide whether the policy represents the organisational objectives or not. The policy as and when accepted is communicated to all the concerned people in the organisation. The communication of policy is very important for the effective implementation of the policy.

Step # 6. Appraising the Policy:

The representatives of management who are guided by organisation’s policy and other employees affected by a given policy decision can develop the experience” needed to appraise its appropriateness and usefulness. The effectiveness of policy is then analysed to make the necessary changes, if required.

Personnel Policies  Responsibility for Making Personnel Policies 

The actual formulation of personnel policies is the responsibility of the personnel manager; but its ultimate approval, or any change or modification in it, comes from the top executives; and his decision depends upon the financial ability of a company, the obligations imposed upon it by legislation, the agreement between employers and employees, the repercussions of such decisions of the various levels of employees as well as on neighbouring industries and on the community.

The executive role is one of mediating, reconciling, persuading, convincing, expressing and communicating the policy; developing tools and machinery, guiding, directing and evaluating the effectiveness with which those tools are used in the application of policy. The responsibility for personnel administration rests squarely upon the shoulders of the line management.

The personnel department assists in communicating policies to those for whom they are meant and exercises control over it in order to ensure fairness and uniformity. If it is not communicated and interpreted correctly, even a sound policy may lose much of its usefulness.

Therefore, personnel policies should be made known to the employees through supervisors at each level.

Superiors may be informed of the changed policies and kept informed of the accepted policies by any of the following methods:

(i) Written standard practices, procedures issued to cover company policies, with supplements to cover changes.

(ii) Booklets or Bulletins, issued to new employees setting forth rights, privileges, and responsibilities.

(iii) Verbal instructions from immediate superiors.

(iv) Group meetings of new employees convened regularly.

(v) Union contract.

(vi) Company paper or house organ, giving details about company policies.

(vii) Conference conducted as a part of executive training programme.

When the supervisory force has been familiarised with company policies, much of the purpose of informing the employees has been accomplished. However, as a matter of safety, it is always wise to take steps to inform workers directly through the medium of published booklets and through the representatives of the Personnel Department to new employees in group meetings.

It is also advisable to publicise them in a company news-sheet or house journal, which may also carry a copy of the company’s contract with its employees.

Personnel Policies – Coverage of Personnel Policies in India

The subject matter of personnel policies is as varied as the practices of the Personnel Department; and any itemisation would serve merely as a laundry list. The norms of personnel policy vary from industry to industry and with its management structure, the economic and social conditions prevailing in it at a particular time, the attitudes and ideals of top management.

They also vary with changes in public opinion, area and regional traditions, customs and practices, the country’s industrial system, the labour and industrial policies of the State and the Central Governments, the influence of trade unions, national agreements between representatives of employers, managers, employees and the government.

The policies and influences of business associations, employers’ federations, technological development, competition and social approval, the prevailing attitude of the organised labour, government regulations, the extent of unionisation in a particular industry, the decisions of tripartite conferences, Industrial or National Tribunals or Labour Courts – these, too, determine the norms of personnel policies.

In other words, they cover such a wide variety of items and are so broad-based that every possible item which affects the interests of anyone in an organisation is included in them. However, it is virtually impossible for any organisation to have policies which cover every type of contingency because new issues or questions usually crop up from time to time for which no policies exist or for which an organisation is still in the process of writing a policy.

In such cases, therefore, it has to work without policies until such time as it frames them. In India, ordinarily personnel policies cover the following:

(a) Policy on Recruitment or Hiring of Employees, i.e., in finding and selecting right calibre and number of people required to perform the operations of the organisation, these subjects are taken into account- (i) whether recruitment needed, (ii) how much manpower required and at what levels, (iii) selection procedures, (iv) age limits for employment, (v) marital status, minority status, minority groups, SC/ST, women, disabled persons, (vi) pre-employment medical check-up; and (vii) establishing order of preferences, between relations of employees, employment exchange candidates, and outsiders in matter of selection; and (viii) induction and placement, etc.

(b) Policy of Manpower Planning and Development, this covers- (i) work study, job evaluation, (ii) selection and recruitment techniques, (iii) identifying training needs and preparing training programmes; (iv) promotional avenues and (v) opportunities for self-development and advancement in organisation, etc.

(c) Policy on Terms and Conditions of Employment, which covers terms such as hours of work, overtime, shift working, lay-off, termination of services, and welfare, wage policy, payment methods, pay period, job evaluation, etc.

(d) Policy on Industrial Relations, in broad terms considers- (i) whether to recognise trade unions, and conditions of recognition, (iii) collective bargaining, (iv) grievance handling procedure, (v) workers’ participation in management, etc.

(e) Policy on Communication with Employees on all levels, covers- (i) suggestions system; (ii) formal/informal meetings between top management and junior management.

In broad, personnel policy consists essentially of the following parts:

(i)The objective stated in broad general terms, indicating the top management’s deep and underlying intents and convictions as to the importance of the people in the organisation.

(ii) Procedures for the attainment of the objectives. Procedures lay down the steps that must be followed in order that the spirit of the policy is retained intact and is reflected in management’s action.

(iii) Rules and regulations arising from the policy and procedures are aimed at clearly defining the do’s and don’ts that have to be observed by the employees at all levels.

Personnel Policies Mechanism of Personnel Policies Formulation

Policy generation is a complex process, calling for the help of experts. Personnel policies are so designed as to reflect the current good practices in society. The first step in the mechanics of formulating a policy is the identification of a problem area or situation in which decisions of a similar and repetitive nature are involved.

To some extent, policy-making involves all levels in the working organisation. It is the personnel staff who study the existing documents, survey industry and community practices, review the prevailing conditions in the company, interview other executives in the organisation to collect appropriate information and get their suggestions and co-operation on personnel activities.

The formulation of a policy is not a job for any ivory-tower specialist. The person preparing a draft of it must be thoroughly familiar with the subject from personal experience and involvement.

After the policy draft has been prepared, the second step is to circulate its copies among all those who may be expected to operate under it. Their constructive criticism and suggestions would be very valuable.

A second draft is then prepared and finalised, and the policy statements are given shape and promulgated throughout the organisation. Policies are developed after a thorough discussion so that all the managers involved in related areas of responsibility are personally committed to them.

Developed in this manner, these policies will stand the test of time, and will hold even “under conditions of stress.” A set of policies may be compared to the rope holding the mountain-climbers together; since they are thus together, no climber can be lost, but they must co-ordinate their activities, “or the rope will get in their way.”

The third step is to undertake a periodic review, evaluation and revision of the policies. This is essential if organisational complacency and managerial stagnation are to be avoided. It is a part and parcel of the means of keeping an organisation “vibrant” and “on its toes.” If a policy is cancelled or withdrawn, it should be substituted by a new one, failing which mismanagement is likely to result.

In brief, the steps necessary in designing a policy are:

(i) Initiating a policy.

(ii) Uncovering of facts by the personnel department.

(iii) Recommending a policy to the top management and eliciting the views of all concerned.

(iv) Putting down a policy in writing.

(v) Explaining and discussing the proposed policy with members of the organisation.

(vi) Adopting and launching it.

(vii) Communicating it to employees at all levels.

(viii) Administering it.

(ix) Initiating follow-up action on it.

(x) Evaluating it; and

(xi) Restating or reformulating the policy.

It should be clearly understood that “the authority for implementing personnel policy must come from the top management. The responsibility for implementation rests with the line management at the level of the department head and that of administration of day-to-day matters with the lower level of management. The responsibility for assessment, review, and follow-up action should lie with the personnel department.”

Personnel Policies should be in Writing:

Someone has said that an idea does not exist unless it can be put in writing. A policy, conceived as a management tool, also does not exist unless it is in writing.

There are distinct advantages of written formal policies. In the first place, the writing of policies makes a commitment on the part of an organisation. When they are written, it should be apparent to management representatives, employees and union officials that the “top management does what it says.”

Secondly, writing ensures uniformity of application, minimises favouritism and discrimination among the personnel and assures continuity of action even when the top management is changed, for a policy is not just a fad of one particular boss, to be jettisoned when he leaves the organisation.

Thirdly, it earns the loyalty of, and builds enthusiasm among, the members of an organisation insofar as they are assured of fair play and justice.

Fourthly, it limits the freedom of action on the part of the management, for a supervisor cannot go off half-cocked and come up with his personal interpretation of the organisation’s intent.

Fifthly, writing helps to ensure that the professed policies are “right”, for an organisation tries to put its best foot forward. Finally, written policies provide something concrete on which to base an appeal if there is any disagreement about what the organisation’s policy is.

All well-established concerns, should have published Policy Manuals for all its managers, supervisors, and employees. Handbooks, house bulletins and booklets may also be used for the purpose. The moment a policy is written down or published, it encourages the staff to be constantly alert so that it may be properly implemented.

Francis Clarence says, “If you write it (policy) down, you have got to live up to do it or die trying. If you set a high standard, you will fall far short of perfection. But your performance, simply because you have pledged yourself to the standard, will be better than it would be if you lacked a special goal.”

Personnel Policy is, therefore, always written in words which are neither vague and unnecessarily academic, nor offending those who read it either before or after it had been explained to them. Words and sentences should be complete and precise. It should not contain irritating words or expressions which antagonise some, or cast aspersions on others.

For example, the words “You are forbidden” should be replaced by “It will be appreciated.” The tone should be warm, without the use of any legalistic phraseology. The form should be convenient and handy for management reference and application spacing encourage reading. Short sentences are always better than long sentences linked together with some such purchases as “subject to”, “provided,” “whereas.”

Each policy item is numbered, and its paragraphs are usually sub-numbered. Sometimes, each subject begins with the phrase, “we believe,” and then indicates what it is that the organisation does believe in. This is invariably the statement of policy, which is immediately followed by a paragraph beginning “to give effect to this belief, we do the following things,” and then follows a list of procedures and practices.

The success of personnel policies is determined largely by three areas of activity:

(i) The success of the top management in determining labour policies wisely.

(ii) The success of the personnel manager in interpreting these personnel policies properly, in achieving their proper execution through the line executives, and in making the personnel department render as nearly perfect service as possible to the line executives.

(iii) The success of the line executives themselves, particularly the first line supervisors, in fulfilling their obligations to management and to the workers by interpreting policies wisely and interestedly and in promoting the effectiveness of their workers by dynamic leadership.


In conclusion, it may be observed that personnel policies are an expression of intents and plans of managements’ design to attain the objectives of an organization, they are a guide for managements’ decision and plans of action and which govern the enterprise in its relationship with its employees.

Such policies are established in consultation with the employees themselves; and to ensure uniformity in action and to give the security of knowing what to expect, they are generally always put into writing.