How to Implement Effective HR Policies and Procedures

A company’s day-to-day operations are directly impacted by its policies.

Human resources policy guides both employees and management when complicated issues arise. It is also what governs the company’s response to unethical, illegal, or otherwise unacceptable behavior.

Additionally, policy helps employees know what is expected of them and what they can expect to experience at work. This is why it is crucial that you understand how to implement effective HR policies and procedures.

Planning for the future of human resources management is also benefited by the implementation of actionable procedures. For instance, a detailed plan might help with navigating HR trends for the workplace in 2025.

There are two stages to creating new and effective HR policies: development and implementation. Your HR team needs to be proficient in both of these areas.

A great policy that is never implemented doesn’t do you any good, and a policy that is implemented without careful planning can hurt you in the long run!

Policies and procedures

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Types of HR Policies

Human Resources is responsible for creating and implementing most of the policies that will affect your employees.

Specifically, HR is involved with policies related to:

  • Performance evaluation
  • Sick days
  • Personal leave
  • Vacation time
  • Overtime compensation
  • Bonuses and incentives
  • Dress code
  • Recruitment and onboarding
  • Termination of employment
  • Anti-harassment and non-discrimination policies
  • Meal periods and break time
  • Timekeeping and compensation
  • Attendance and punctuality
  • Employee conduct
  • Remote and hybrid work
  • Implementing succession best practices

Because every company needs great policies for things to run smoothly, it is important to have an HR team with experience and extensive knowledge about how to craft clear, effective policies. The importance of a Human Resources consultant cannot be overstated.

To be effective, each policy needs to go through the development and implementation stages covered below.

The Development Stage of a New HR Policy

During the development stage of a new company policy, your HR team will ask a lot of questions. This is because it’s time to understand how the policy needs to work for your specific circumstances.

Standard, copy-and-paste policies tend to be insufficient for addressing the real needs of most companies.

Identify the human resources policies you need to implement.

Your first step will be to conduct a thorough assessment of your current policies. Specifically:

  • What policies are currently in place and working well?
  • What policies are in place but are not working well?
  • What policies are missing altogether?

There are several indicators that a policy may be unclear or ineffective. For example, are employees confused about what is considered appropriate or inappropriate? Are they regularly or occasionally participating in behaviors that management sees as inappropriate, but there is nothing on paper to explain why?

Another manifestation of confusion is unnecessary reporting. For example, when policies aren’t clear, team members may be reported by colleagues or management for violating rules that aren’t actually real. A personal opinion can turn into a major conflict if there is nothing in writing to outline a policy or procedure.

New policies may also be needed if:

  • No one really knows how to handle situations that arise related to conduct, behavior, employee relationships, or workplace expectations
  • The company needs to add policies for legal compliance (for example, a whistleblower policy)
  • Unclear policies and procedures are causing confusion or unfair and inconsistent treatment of employees

Craft the language for each HR policy.

You can’t just haphazardly write a policy and hope it works.

Everything in your procedures and policies needs to be as clear as possible. However, you also want to build flexibility into your wording. That will allow you to adapt the policy to the unforeseen circumstances that arise in the future.

Here is some general advice for human resources policy writing:

  • Use language like “generally,” “usually,” and “may.”
  • Avoid making statements that sound like promises or contracts.
  • Don’t make statements about what the organization will always do or must do. You want to maintain flexibility for your future actions.
  • When composing a list, always add language that clarifies that the list is not comprehensive.

Components of a good human resources policy

Although the content changes from policy to policy, the basic components remain the same.

Nearly every policy will contain a purpose statement, policy specifications section, information about implementation, an effective date, and a list of defined terms.

Seek input from legal experts in human resources.

There are a few ways to ensure that your new policy aligns with the legal requirements in the regions where you operate.

First, you can always run it by in-house legal counsel. Another option is to retain legal counsel as needed.

Finally, a highly qualified team of Human Resources professionals will bring their legal expertise to your policy creation. Whether they craft the policies from scratch or review policies that you drafted, outsourcing these HR processes will help you confirm that all of your new policies are aligned with local, national, and international laws.

The Implementation Stage of a New HR Policy

After you have crafted the human resources policy, you will want to have it evaluated for legal and procedural implications. You will gather feedback from other decision-makers within the company, especially those who will be responsible for the early stages of implementation.

After gathering feedback and making any changes, it’s time for implementation. There are two basic steps to implementing a new HR policy: build support with stakeholders and communicate the changes effectively.

Build support for the new HR policy with various stakeholders

Some of the normal, human reactions to institutional changes include fear, uncertainty, doubt, stress, and anxiety. That said, some changes are also accompanied by excitement and enthusiasm.

You should expect to encounter all of these reactions from your employees. One of the ways to counter potential negative reactions is to get stakeholders on board before the policy goes into effect company-wide.

Managers, supervisors, and other leaders who are going to be responsible for carrying out the new policy need to be informed before everyone else. The rollout of the new policy should be done carefully, with meetings, video calls, one-on-ones, and emails to get everyone on board.

Be prepared to address the following questions for your company leadership:

  • What, exactly, is changing?
  • When will the change take place?
  • How will they be supported in enforcing the change?
  • What are the benefits of this change – not just for the company, but for themselves?
  • Where do they go with questions?

Get your stakeholders on board and the rest of the implementation process will go much more smoothly!

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Too many companies have faced major pushback when making a policy change because they botched the communication part of implementation.

Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re updating your HR policy:

  • You should provide clear information to your employees about why you are making this change.
  • Be honest about how the change will affect them and what they can expect to happen next.
  • Communicate in a way that demonstrates that you respect and hear their concerns.
  • Be sure to differentiate between any policy announcement and other, more general announcements. For example, if you are announcing the change via email, the email should not blend in with other general emails, and the information shouldn’t be hidden within a newsletter.

Don’t forget to provide your employees with a way to ask questions and provide feedback on the new policy. You also need to inform everyone where they will be able to find the new policy in the future, such as on a company wiki page or in a handbook.

You Don’t Have to Create Policies On Your Own – Europe HR Solutions Can Help

At Europe HR Solutions, we support more than 200 companies that have an operational presence in Europe.

Our multilingual team of HR experts understand the unique needs of companies that operate within Europe, including issues related to policy development and implementation.

We are happy to guide our clients through the entire process, which ensures that they don’t feel alone, uncertain, or overwhelmed by the big task of launching new policies.

Contact us for a free consultation! We look forward to helping you improve your company policies so that you can start seeing better operational outcomes and employee productivity!

Business owner surrounded by paperwork, indicating the need for HR outsourcing

How outsourcing HR can save money

If you own a small or mid-sized business, you understand how frustrating it can be to spend time and money on tasks that don’t generate revenue. The costs of building an HR department from the ground up can prove astronomical. 

When you’re launching your small business in a foreign country, especially, you’ll need HR solutions before you open your doors for daily operation. Europe HR Solutions can help.


The right outsourced HR team can reduce your ongoing costs in the following ways:

  • Payroll administration:

By outsourcing your HR, you can bring in vetted professionals to set up and administer your payroll system. This team can train you to ensure a seamless transition after their service contract is completed. 

You won’t have to stress over hiring long-term employees to take care of payroll, or training payroll administrators.

  • Benefits implementation:

Your outsourced HR team can help you to select the right benefits software package and enroll the employees of your small business.

  • Human resources management:

Outsourcing your HR can prove to be a game changer for your overall human resources management, too. HR consultants contribute through a wealth of experience in compliance, employee relations, and recruitment.

This saves valuable time for small business owners, mitigates the risk of legal issues and delays in operations, and provides access to the latest industry best practices and trends.

When it makes sense to outsource HR for small businesses  

International companies with fewer than 50 employees are considered small businesses, and rarely expand to Europe with an inhouse HR team already in place.

For US and UK-based small businesses that launch European operations, there’s usually a CFO who oversees broad HR tasks. 

However, the CFO or other executives managing HR for a small business launch in Europe often lacks the country-specific legal and HR expertise necessary to ensure innovative solutions that reflect the country’s best HR practices and legal compliance.

It’s important to consider the following when determining whether or not you should outsource your HR:

  • What specific HR services and support does your business require?
  • Do you have anyone on your team who’s well-versed in country-specific employee regulations and labor laws?
  • Will you need management compliance training and support?
  • Will your current employment handbook, policies, and procedures translate to adhere to the needs of employees in different countries?
  • Do you have a small HR department in place that may need help implementing payroll, benefits, training, and development?
Time is money. Outsourcing HR saves time, letting you focus on what matters.

What to expect with Europe HR Solutions

By outsourcing your HR, you may find it’s easier to take care of your daily operations and to strategize and prepare for the launch of your small business in Europe. Europe HR Solutions has supported countless small, mid, and large-sized businesses in their international HR needs.  

Whether you need our team to manage your HR and implement solutions, or you need us to help guide the HR professionals you have on staff, we can sweat the small stuff to ensure your big picture remains intact. 

You can expect Europe HR Solutions to do the following:

Act as your representatives:

We’ll act as an extension of your small business. This means we will collaborate with you and ensure we’re promoting your vision and standards in any HR matters we handle for you.

Ad hoc requests:

We understand that you may have ad hoc requests. We’re used to fast-paced, high pressure situations, and will ensure your needs are met in a timely manner.

Assist with HR strategies:

We’re committed to providing HR services that help your business grow and succeed. We’ll make certain that the innovative solutions we offer adhere to your overall business and HR strategies.

Create and implement policies and procedures:

We’ll strategize with you to create and implement your company’s policies and procedures and ensure details are in place that will help your employees thrive and create a positive work environment.

Handle employee contract needs:

We’ll help to create and manage your employee hiring processes (including talent acquisition, interviews, and onboarding checklists), employee complaint procedures, performance reviews, and off-boarding processes.

Legal compliance:

Europe HR Solutions will use our thorough knowledge of the various nuances in employment regulations and labor laws to keep your operations, policies, and procedures within legal compliance. This will help reduce your liability risk should issues with employees arise.

Manage employee and management training and development: 

We can cover government-mandated and specific position training programs to support your employees to work with excellence and grow in their positions. This includes compliance training for managers.


We can utilize the latest in talent acquisition trends and industry best practices to make sure you attract the talent you deserve to fill your staffing needs. We want to help you to build the best team possible to create a positive work culture and  a productive team.

The cost of outsourced HR services for small businesses

When to outsource your small business’s HR could be determined by your available budget. The cost of outsourcing your HR may be an upfront expense, but in the long run, it can save you significant money and protect your revenue.

The services offered by Europe HR Solutions can vary in cost, and are dependent on the extent of service you require. We can determine the cost based on the scope of the project.

For example, you may need us to manage a specific, well-defined project that allows us to estimate the cost involved. However, you may require our services on a daily basis, for an extended period of time, or find you need support in an immediate HR emergency. This may mean we will need a retainer payment or charge for an hourly rate.

How to determine your HR outsourcing needs

Before you decide to outsource your HR, it’s vital to determine what type of services you require. It can be overwhelming to discern your needs, but reflecting on and strategizing about specifics can be beneficial.

Answering the following questions may help you to understand what services you require:

  • Do you need an outsourced HR professional who takes the time to know and understand your business, staff, and culture?
  • Do you need HR professionals who are available on a daily basis?
  • Are you in dire need of help with critical talent acquisition?
  • Do you require flexibility and a large scope of HR tasks?
  • Are your needs limited to legal compliance and knowledge?
  • Do you need help developing your workplace culture?
  • Do you need to overcome language barriers?
  • What are your long-term HR needs?

Other benefits of outsourcing your HR

Once you’ve determined when to outsource HR for your small business, you may find that it allows you to streamline your operations and focus on your overall business strategy.

This strategic move reduces your administrative burdens of managing payroll, benefits, and other HR tasks in-house. The cost-effectiveness of outsourcing becomes evident as it eliminates the need for investing in HR infrastructure and ongoing training. 

This newfound flexibility can enable your small business to adapt quickly to market changes and allocate resources more efficiently. Ultimately, an outsourced HR team becomes a strategic partner, and empowers you to prioritize your employees, enhance organizational efficiency, and thrive in the competitive European business landscape.

Contact Europe HR Solutions

Europe HR Solutions understands how crucial HR is to the foundation of any successful business. We can consult with you to determine when it’s best to outsource HR for your small business, and customize innovative solutions with you. 

Your HR needs remain our greatest priority, and we want to support you in ways that promote legal compliance and allow you to see your small business dreams come to fruition. 

Connect with Europe HR Solutions today for a free consultation and be sure to check out our blog for the latest HR insights, tips, and trends. The road to success for your small business is just an HR step away.

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    Inez Vermeulen

    Inez Vermeulen

    Inez Vermeulen is the Founder and CEO of Europe HR Solutions, with over 25 years of successful corporate and entrepreneurial experience in various global industries. She has helped grow and expand the European divisions of global companies such as Coca-Cola Company, Regus, DHL, American Medical Systems, etc. Inez has received several company awards for her entrepreneurial spirit and success.

    She owns a Bachelor’s degree in French, History and Latin, several HR global expert certifications, a Master’s degree in Metaphysical Sciences, ICF Coach Certification and has completed her Doctorate on Transformational Leadership. Inez is fluent in Dutch, English, French, Italian and German. She works in partnership with an extensive international network of independent & professional companies and resides in Belgium near Brussels with her husband Jan.