HR Advisors Conference Blog

Further thoughts from the conference or about the challenges of being in an HR Advisory role.

Micro HR policies: short & sweet!

We all know that attention spans are getting shorter. I might even lose some of you before this sentence is over….

We know this, yet we seem to think our managers and employees are happy to read long, boring policies. Could short and snappy be a better way to go? Could micro policies (think Twitter style with it’s 140 character limit) set out the guidelines but also be written in a way that people want to read them?

Here’s an example. At Elephant we help many companies with their HR policies. In a business we recently started working with, there was a vehicle policy in place – written by a lawyer – which was 6 pages long. There were 2 clauses which were half a page each and very legalistic (I can’t publish them but if you’ve read policies written by lawyers you’ll know what I’m talking about).

For our revised version which was 1.5 pages, written in plain language, we wrote the 2 half page clauses like this:

  • If you are, or are likely to be suspended or disqualified from driving, you must notify us in writing immediately.
  • If the car is lawfully impounded, or any claims, expenses, damages or fines are incurred where you are at fault, you will be responsible for paying all costs.

Now imagine if you did a micro policy? The whole policy might read:

  • Take good care of the company car. If you damage it or incur fines, you pay. You must let us know in writing if there are any issues with your driving. We’ll provide a fuel card. The car must only be used for business and must be returned if you leave the company.

Would this cover you? I think for 99% of employees it would. Instead we write a 6 page policy for the one person who is still going to cause issues to try and cover every situation that might come up.

Would you company be game to try and micro size your policies?


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This entry was posted on August 1, 2014 by in Operational HR work and tagged , .

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