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Distinguish between overall human resource policy and specific human resource policy with its features

Distinguish between overall human resource policy and specific human resource policy with its features.

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Question asked by sanjaya_paudel

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angel profile image
Angel Paudel

Closely tied to employment law, human resource policies addresses how to dictate certain matters in the workplace with a formal set of rules and procedures. It also deals with employee rights and duties (Armstrong, 2014). HR policies are important for any organization to first manage their employees and second to avoid non-compliance and fines imposed from the governments (Eaton, 1990). These policies set a foundation for how people should be treated, set a procedure for hiring and firing, and other procedures related to human resource management.

Overall human resource policy represents the stand the organization takes with regard to how people should be treated within the organization. The policy covers the overall organizational value with regard to equity, consideration, organizational learning, performance through people, quality of working life and working conditions (Lussier & Hendon, 2013). The policy covers most of the organizational beliefs like work hours, staffing policy, appointment types, age limit, terms of reference, recruitment, selection procedure, no objection clearance, orientation and induction, learning and development, performance management, compensation and benefits, salary revision, allowances and social security benefits disciplinary and grievance, conflict of interest and so many others.

Specific human resource policy deals with a specific issue or topic within the organization. They don’t include overall topics like in the overall human resource policy but rather a very specific topic that’s significant to the organization. These policies are easily reported upon necessity as they deal only with specific issues. These policies are very comprehensive compared to overall human resource policy. An example of this from the real working experience is that the organization that I work with also have Gender and Equity Policy as specific human resource policy aside overall human resource policy they have. The policy is important for the organization to uplift the female community and maintain a balance between male and female workforce within the organization.


Armstrong, M. (2014). Armstrong’s Handbook Of Human Resource Management Practice, 13th Edition. Kogan Page Limited.

Eaton, J. (1990). Human Resource Management And Business Policy. Human Resource Management Journal , 1 (2), 60-68. dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1748-8583.199...

Lussier, R., & Hendon, J. (2013). Human resource management . Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.

shantamilan profile image
ShantaMilan • Edited

One of the biggest asset in any company is human work force. They are dynamic and proper utilization means understanding them, fostering an environment of safety and friendliness where they are motivated to work. “Many companies believe that the people are those who make the difference and are the constituent factor of competitive advantage.” (Sîrbu & Alexandrescu, 2014) To manage the human work force, organizations have their own set of human resource policies. These policies are guided by their vision and goal.

According to Armstrong (2012) “The overall HR policy defines how the organization fulfils its social responsibilities for its employees and sets out its attitudes towards them. (Armstrong, 2012, p. 452)”A mixture of various specific human resource (HR) policy forms the overall human resource policy. The overall HR policy has more to do with a broad sense of equity, consideration, organizational learning, performance thorough people, quality of working life and working condition.

On the other hand, specific HR policy are designed to help accomplish specific objective or goal in an organization. For example; strategy for preparing job performance standard, hiring process, appraisal, HR planning deals with ensuring that the organization has talented, skilled and engaged people it needs. Similarly motivation strategies of rewards, authority delegation etc deals with fostering mutual trust and creates positive employment relationship. Other aspects such as staff wellbeing, health and safety policy not only helps the employees from harm but also assists management to avoid unnecessary risks and resulting in higher performance. A few of the specific policy comprising the overall policy is show below.

human resource policy



Sîrbu, J., & Alexandrescu, R. (2014). HUMAN RESOURCES POLICY - IMPORTANCE AND APPLICABILITY. Calitatea: Acces la Success; Bucharest , 9. Retrieved from search.proquest.com/docview/153923...

dipadhungana profile image

Human Resource Policy

Human resource policy defines the philosophies and values of the organization on how people should be treated and these philosophies and values help to derive the principles upon which managers are expected to act when dealing with human resource matters. Human resource policy provides continuous guidelines on the approach an organization intends to adopt in managing its people. The specific guidelines about various matters concerning employment and state of the intent of the organization on different aspects of human resource such as recruitment, selection, compensation, promotion and training are provided to human resource manager through human resource policy. The organization practices the rules and guidelines mentioned in human resource policy in hiring, training, assessing and rewarding the members or their workforce (Armstrong, 2012).

The characteristics of human resource policy as given by Rajsheka are:

  • It should present the principles that will guide the organization’s actions and reflect a faith in ethical values of employees.
  • It should be formulated after considering long range plans and needs of the organization.
  • It must be reasonably stable but not rigid.
  • It should be formulated with due regard for the interests of all concerned parties-employers, employees and public community.
  • It must be developed with the active participation and support of management and cooperation of employees.
  • It should be definite so that it is easy to understand. It should be stated in clear, definite and easily understood terms.
  • It must provide two-way communication system between management and employees.
  • It should be consistent with public policy.

Overall Human Resource Policy

The overall human resource policy defines how the organization fulfills its social responsibilities for its employees and sets its attitudes towards them. It is an expression of its values or beliefs regarding how people should be treated (Armstrong, 2012).

The following values are expressed in overall human resource policy:

Equity: It is concerned with fair and equal treatment for all employees ignoring biases and personal differences.

Consideration: It advocates that individual circumstances that affects the prospects, security or self-respect of employees should be taken into consideration while making decisions.

Organizational Learning: This value is related with the organization’s believe in need to promote the learning and development of all members in the organization.

Performance through People: The overall human resource policy focuses on developing the performance of the employees by creating culture of continuous improvement.

Quality of Working Life: This aspect is related with increasing responsibility and autonomy and reducing stress and monotony of the work life.

Working Condition: The working condition deals with maintaining safe, healthy, practicable and pleasant working condition.

Specific Human Resource Policy

There are different aspects associated with management of human resources within an organization. If there are different policies for different areas of peoples’ interests, such policies are known as specific human resource policies. This policy is area or criteria specific. It covers the guidelines relating to a specific human resource matter. The areas covered by specific human resource policy are:

  • Age and Employment
  • AIDS
  • Bullying
  • Discipline
  • E-mails and the Internet
  • Employee Development
  • Employee Relation
  • Employee Voice
  • Employment
  • Equal Opportunity
  • Grievances
  • Health and safety
  • Managing diversity
  • Promotion
  • Redundancy
  • Reward
  • Sexual harassment
  • Substance abuse
  • Work-life balance

Thus, overall human resource policy provides general guidelines about every human resource related components of the organization while specific human resource policy deals with the detail guidelines regarding a specific human resource management component. All the specific policies of an organization combined together forms the overall human resource policy. The policies aim on maintaining consistency and discipline in carrying out the human resource functions.

Armstrong, M. (2012). Armstrong’s Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice. London: Kogan Page.

Rajsheka, V. (n.d.). Share Your Essays. Retrieved from Top 8 Characteristics of a Sound Human Resource Policy: shareyouressays.com/knowledge/top-...