Your people policies are a reflection of your organisation’s culture and values making them a vitally important tool for setting the tone for how employees perceive the organisation. But company policies can easily date and may not continue to reflect your company culture with the rapid pace of change we see in workplace environments today. The needs of society change at pace too, so ensuring your policies are fit for a modern workforce needs to be part of your strategy for continual improvement.

We wanted to find out whether organisations prioritise regular policy reviews, so we surveyed 100 HR professionals in organisations with over 500 employees to understand how well their policies fit their business and culture. The results were eye-opening.

Policies for a modern workforce

With all of the recent press coverage and successful tribunal cases concerning managing menopause effectively in the workplace, we were surprised to see that more than 20% of organisations don’t yet have a policy that supports this important consideration. There are also other further policies that support inclusive and equitable working environments that were lacking from around a 5th fifth of organisations’ policy sets.


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Enhance organisational governance with fit-for-purpose policies

Less than half of those surveyed say their employee relations (ER) policy sets are completely fit for purpose. Inadequate policies risk lagging behind in adapting to evolving legal and cultural requirements that could impact employee experiences and increase business risk. Regularly reviewing your policy set to ensure it is fit for purpose is vital.

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Manager capability holds back policy evolution

69% of respondents acknowledging acknowledged that limitations in line managers’ capability limited ambition to evolve to maintain employee relations (ER) policy sets raises concerns about policy execution. Managerial proficiency is vital for translating policy into practice, preventing inconsistencies, misinterpretations, and lowering employee confidence. Enhancing manager capabilities through targeted training is crucial for effective ER policy implementation, creating a fair, accountable, and satisfying workplace culture.

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The vital role of ongoing policy review

Less than two-thirds of organisations regularly review policies, highlighting a potential weakness in their governance. Regular policy assessments are crucial for aligning frameworks with evolving standards, preventing outdated policies that may lead to compliance risks and employee dissatisfaction. Scheduled reviews also allow for improvements in response to changing dynamics, technology, and societal shifts. Neglecting this aspect risks operating with obsolete guidelines, hindering adaptability and resilience.

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