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Posted: 15th March 2021
We are looking to re-energise our policies and create something more around principles/guidelines. Has anybody used an outsourced provider to support them to do this that they could recommend?
Helen, I can’t provide a lead here but the direction you are going is the right one. Interesting to see what the response is from your employees. It’s a bit of ‘dammed if you do, dammed if you don’t’ but having principles and guidelines rather than lengthy prescriptive policies is the way to go and if something unusual comes up you make a decision at the time. Big mistake HR folk make is trying to cover every conceivable scenario.
Hi – We are looking for a similar approach. The biggest challenge is shifting mindset to move away from lengthy policies and covering every scenario.
Hi Helen and Suzanna, I can put you in touch with someone who could help/chat it though with you, having recently done something similar. Gary Brooks: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks very much Annalise
We removed all People policies last year. We have 4 principles, and the rest are 1-2 pagers on How We Operate. We provide the framework and then trust our people to behave as adults. Our Principles are disciplinary, grievance, attendance and individual support (this replaces performance and PIPs as they felt too punitive). We’ve been living with them a year and had no issues at all. I use a terrible analogy – we provide the hard shoulder and the central reservation and our people decide which lane to drive in, how fast and how many times to change lanes! Awful, I know!!
Hope that helps
thank you Annalise and Maggie.
Maggie, how did you manage the change from policies to principles in the organisation?
The most important bit was to communicate WHY we were doing it. That was the hook to ensure that they landed properly. It was simple to be honest. We looked at what was the minimum we needed legally – and they were the 4 principles. In all the principles we used ACAS our minimum and we wrapped the principles through around that. The wording was about what an employee would expect and what we expect from line managers. We set them out very clearly, using short and succinct points, written in plain English.
We were up front about doing it before we did, we talked about it a lot in meetings, on internal message boards etc to warm people up.
But the most important was the WHY. Without that, it wouldn’t have landed. For us, this was because we had launched our PeACH model – blatantly nicked from Lucy and Karen! (PeACH as we talk about People not Employees).
“We treat our People like Adults; think of them as Customers; and engage with them as Humans. We expect you to be accountable for your own performance and to behave in the best interests of our customers, our organisation and everyone you work with. We trust you to behave as an adult, engage with your colleagues in the right way, use good judgement and do what’s right for Correla.”
That underpinned everything. Obviously there was more written about it – but that was the elevator pitch.
Does that help? I tend to get passionate about!!
Hi – yes, this is really helpful. It makes perfect sense. Thank you so much.
so interesting to read thank you, my question is do you leave yourself legally vulnerable by removing lengthy policies should the odd occasion arise when someone behaves irresponsibly? How much risk would the organisation be exposed to ?
We haven’t so far! We’ve had a handful of performance, grievance and disciplinaries since introducing them and they’ve held up. We refer to following the ACAS code in the disciplinary and grievance principles so we are covered legally.
Our aim is that it never gets to the contentious stage as we focus on the adult conversation. And that’s stood us in good stead so far.
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