2017 has been a landmark year for Human Resources Practitioners in Alberta. We saw the introduction of the Fair and Friendly Workplace Act (formerly Bill 17) in Alberta; and federally we are addressing the imminent arrival of cannabis legalization and the proposed extension of parental leave.

These are exciting times in the world of Human Resources Management! Those of us who embrace change are working through the process of understanding these changes and their implications and applications. We’re also curious about how they will be implemented, the impact they’ll have on employees and employers and the new case law that will emerge as a result.

Over the past months I’ve had the opportunity to work with several organizations as they update their policies and guidelines related to these anticipated and confirmed changes. In doing so, I’ve been amazed by the diversity of structure, tone and content of the documents and intrigued to learn how the current processes serve to help or hinder the organization.

As you consider these new pieces of legislation and how they might impact your workplace, you may also want to stop and consider the following:

  • Do your current policies and practices support and reflect your company culture and values?
  • Do your current policies and guidelines place an appropriate amount of accountability and ownership in your employees’ hands?
  • Are they intentional, understandable, and easy to communicate and implement?
  • Do they say too much? Or not enough? Do you have the flexibility to manage your business fairly or are your hands tied by ineffective and outdated policies and guidelines?

Given that you’ll need to take some time to review your guidelines and policies this year, why not take the time to ensure that they serve a purpose beyond words on a page?