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Mastering HR Policies: A Guide to Assessing, Innovating and Embedding

Mastering HR Policies: A Guide to Assessing, Innovating and Embedding

It’s important to ensure your organisation’s HR policies:

a) comply with relevant employment legislation (read more) and;

b) have a positive impact on your culture, ability to attract, engage and retain employees (read more).

HR policies provide a framework through which you can communicate expected behaviours, provide employees with guidance on key processes and maintain optimum productivity to protect your bottom line.

If you can go beyond ‘just compliance’, and offer policies which elevate your status as a destination employer, doing so will significantly shift the dial in terms of your ability to both attract and retain employees.

So, we know it makes good business sense to invest time in assessing, innovating and embedding HR policies, but where do you start?

To many HR professionals, this can feel like and overwhelming task, especially when your to do list is no doubt already extensive.

In this blog we share our top tips and recommended approach to assessing, innovating and embedding HR policies and how to get the balance right between productivity, protecting your bottom line and creating a great culture in which your employees can thrive.


Try to carve out a clear window of time with no distractions to complete a full review of all current HR policies. Doing it in one sitting will enable you to undertake a truly holistic review, ensuring your approach is consistent and that you can easily identify any conflicts between policies.

Prior to doing so, make sure you are familiar with the latest legislative requirements (our recent blog on changes to UK Employment Law in 2024 will help with this).

When reviewing your HR policies, check whether they:

  • Comply with the latest legislative requirements
  • Align with the vision, mission, values and behaviours of your business
  • Foster the culture you are striving to realise or retain in your organisation
  • Meet the needs of your entire workforce. Consider the difference in requirements across all generations, demographics and those who may be based in different locations or have different working patterns or agreements i.e. full time, part time, remote, hybrid, office based etc
  • Cater for employees with any additional or alternative needs, reasonable adjustments or requirements – are they inclusive?

Once you’ve assessed your existing policies and have and identified where fundamental amendments should be made i.e. to ensure compliance or resolve any conflicts or errors etc, we recommend engaging with your employees to find out if there are any other areas where they would like to see amendments or additional scope for new policies. This will also really help with your engagement levels, as employees will feel more motivated if they are being invited to contribute to the future development of the business.

You capture employee feedback and ideas via simple pulse surveys (Microsoft or Google forms are a great, free way of running these) or weave questions on policies into any pre-scheduled surveys you may be planning such as employee opinion surveys.

Careful consideration must of course be made to the way in which employee inputs are sought and when posing these questions, to ensure you manage expectations internally with employees. If you know you don’t have room to manoeuvre in terms of amendments or innovations, make sure your questions are reflective of this so as not to mislead employees. If you are really looking to make significant changes and shake things up, make this clear too – so that employees know whether to share any ideas which are outside of the box.


After you’ve finished reviewing your current policies, and you’ve identified where amendments or new additions are required, it’s time to take action!

It goes without saying that if you have identified adjustments which need to be made to comply with legislative requirements – these need to take place as a bare minimum.

But, the real excitement begins when you start to innovate.

  • Can you make changes to existing policies to improve your processes, employee experiences, enhance your culture, increase your ability to attract talent and retain highly motivated employees?
  • Are there brand new policies which you can implement which will have a profound impact on your employees and really enhance your position as an employer of choice?

If you aren’t sure where to start, research is your friend. There are plenty of articles online about what other organisations have been doing by way of innovation in this space, such as this blog by PeopleHum which includes examples of stock bonus policies, flexible leave policies (unlimited annual leave and parental leave), performance driven rewards policies and annual ‘pay out’ policies and more.

Ask your peers, friends and family to see what HR policies exist in their businesses.

Is there something special and unique that you could adopt which hasn’t been done anywhere else yet?

You may think your ability to innovate is linked to your company size, the nature of your business and available budget and resource. However, when it comes to attracting and retaining employees, don’t be too concerned about your inability to include more generous financial perks or benefits via your policies. More than ever employees are taking a far more balanced view of what their workplaces have to offer them, and are motivated by ‘meaningful commitments’ more than just remuneration and benefits. Think about your approaches to sustainability, charitable giving, flexible working, development and enhanced leave. These are all key areas which can be powerful attraction, engagement and retention levers that can be reflected in your HR policies.

If you need support with reviewing your policies, and aren’t sure how to get the balance right between satisfying your employees and protecting your business both financially and legally, The Curve Group can help you. We can facilitate focus groups to discuss how to move forward, conduct employee surveys on your behalf, look at your data and MI, analyse what your competitors are offering, and we can conduct a full HR Policy Audit for you, identifying gaps and errors in current policies.

We can also step into complete the revisions on your HR policies or even create new ones for you, whilst ensuring alignment of any amends or new additions with your employee handbook and employee contracts

We are ready to help when you need it.


Taking the time to properly embed your revised and / or new HR policies into your business is absolutely key. You need to bring the policies to life and ensure they are used to successfully underpin your organisation. We recommend doing the following:

  • If any of the policies you are amending/introducing have the potential to land negatively with your workforce, be transparent, explain your reasons for making the changes and try to present a compelling and consistent explanation – if they’ve been involved in the process, it will make it easier to manage this process
  • Prior to launching the updates to the wider organisation, bring your Line Managers on the journey and provide them with training on the policies and how they can be utilised to effectively manage, motivate, and develop their teams
  • Make use of the existing communication tools at your disposal to inform and educate employees on the changes:
  • Ask for slots in any regular all-hands company update meetings
  • Issue updates via email / internal comms mechanisms
  • Run training sessions where more significant education is required on the policies and how they are to be applied
  • Ask Line Managers to cascade to their teams directly. We find that a combination of all of the above is the most effective way to ensure everyone is provided with the update more than once
  • Clearly signpost where employees can find the policies for themselves (and make sure everyone has the right access), this will reduce over-reliance on Line Managers and HR
  • Include an introduction to key HR policies in your new starters induction process and present any non-standard policies as a company benefit when advertising – showcase your offering! Remember to provide training to any new starters with Line Management responsibilities on how to deploy these policies within their team
  • Consider offering an employee assistance line for your staff, with HR advisors at the end of the phone or email, ready to signpost employees to the correct policies and support policy adherence. The Curve Group offer this service as part of our HR outsource service, find out more

Measuring Success

Time will tell how successful your policy amendments have been, however if you can measure the success, it will help you to build future business cases for any further investments required – be it time or money. There are a number of ways in which you can measure the impact including:

  • Measure policy compliance – are you facing less issues with compliance?
  • Evaluate productivity rates – is your workforce more motivated, has there been a direct impact on your bottom line?
  • Assess current timescales for recruitment – are they better than before policy reform?
  • Keep track of average employee tenure – has it improved?
  • Conduct an Employee Opinion Survey (EOS) to assess general satisfaction with the changes you’ve implemented
  • Monitor internal engagement rates – if more employees are attending events, they’re probably happier!
  • Assess fines and legal proceedings – have they reduced since the amendments?
  • Assess your employer brand – are the policies improving candidate perception?
  • Collect feedback during onboarding and offboarding – have feedback scores improved?

Top tip – try to keep the momentum going and review your policies and employee feedback at least once per year (more frequently if any legislation is updated). If you keep on top of amendments, it won’t ever become a huge task again.

If you have any questions relating to the above, or if you’d like to find out more about how we can help you with your HR policies, we’re ready to listen and support you.

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