Why Do We Have That Policy, Anyway?

July 16, 2018

Recently I attended a Human Resources Conference with my wife. She handles of all of the Human Resources issues for our organization, since that is her field.

She is listening for all the legal points my client’s companies need to know. I am listening in a different way. I’m noting all of the topics that might be relevant to them. I’m providing the outside eyes to these topics and looking for pearls of wisdom I can latch on to.

I found it! One speaker spoke about the fact that in upcoming years organizations will be rethinking their guidelines and policies because our competitors will be offering things that will attract new employees—some of which may be the ones who are presently working for us.

That makes sense. In fact, when is the last time we took our Employee Handbooks and broke up each topic and determined whether it still makes sense today.

Here’s an example. One person in the conference said, “Our company does not allow people to take single days as their vacation. They must take an entire week.”

If that were me, I would change it. Why not allow the employee to take their vacation in smaller segments,...by the hour, by the day or by the week? Maybe it differs because of the job they do. They may be requesting to do it a different way than the traditional way because it is better not only for them, but for the company, too.


  • Take every policy or guideline you have and put it on a separate card.
  • Look at each one and think of an outside-of-the-box way to change it.
  • Get employees involved, and have them make recommendations for new ways of looking at old policies.
  • Now combine the best of the new with the time-tested of the old and create a new handbook.
  • Take a look in a few months and make sure your changes are working.

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