Thanks to all who participated! Here are the detailed results:
The most widely implemented policy, according to our survey respondents, is harassment and/or discrimination with 94.5% having such a policy, followed closely by employee leave at 91.1%. Also above the 90% mark are computer and Internet use, confidentiality and proprietary information, and PTO/vacation.
Employee Leave of Absence
Eligibility for Benefits
Attendance and Punctuality
Employment at Will
Dress Code/Personal Appearance
Ethics/Conflicts of Interest
FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act)
Cell phone/Distracted Driving
Reductions in Force
*“Other” includes ADA, whistleblower, holidays, recruitment, death of employee, smoking, personal property, onboarding, classification, immigration, performance reviews, termination, bereavement leave, military leave, and ethics.
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When asked how often policies are updated, 49.5% of survey respondents indicate they update policies as needed, and 25.5% state they update policies annually.
When asked which polices will be updated in the next 6 months, 50% of respondents indicate social media will be the next policy they tackle. Coming in second is attendance/punctuality with 30.8%, followed closely by cell phone/ distracted driving and PTO/vacation, each with 30% of respondents.
Policy to be Updated
Cell phone distracted driving
Internet and background checks
Eligibility for benefits
Ethics/conflict of interest
Other policies scheduled for review include: substance abuse, confidentiality/proprietary information, telecommuting, solicitation, military/ reserve leave, reductions in force, and employment at will.
When asked which policy might become a problem for survey respondents in the next year, 41.7% indicated their social media policy would create the biggest challenge. Coming in a distant second is cell phone use/distracted driving at 21.6% followed by attendance and punctuality at 17.4% and FMLA at 15.9%.
Cell Phone/Distracted Driving
FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act)
Eligibility for Benefits
Policy development falls squarely on the shoulders of HR management for 81.8% of our survey respondents, although 59.3% indicate that senior management is also involved. Outside legal counsel has a hand in the process for 25.7% of the respondents and in-house counsel has a say for 13.4%. Rounding out the group is middle management for 11.3% along with consultants for 5.9%.
“Other” includes policy committees and union contracts as well as boards of directors and state regulations.
The survey also indicated that middle management is “very involved” in developing polices for the organizations represented by 10.6% of our respondents, “marginally” or “somewhat involved” for 68.2%, and “not involved at all” for 19.6%.
Senior management “develops all policies” for 7.2% of the survey respondents’ organizations and is “very involved” in policy development for 50.3%. This group is “marginally” or “somewhat” involved for 37.5% of the organizations represented and “not involved” for 2.6% of them. For 64.4%, however, senior management has final approval of policies.
For organizations that use outside resources other than legal counsel, 65.9% use information from trade associations to develop their policies. Also, 45.1% use government resources and 42.2% use commercial vendors. HR consultants were used to develop policies by 24.5%.
All policies apply to all employees for 63.9% of the respondents to our survey. But for 21.5% of survey participants, some policies apply only to nonexempt employees. An almost equal number (20.9%) have policies that apply only to exempt employees.
Interestingly, 14.4% have policies that apply only to production or operations workers while 10.8% have policies specifically for office staff. Rounding out the field is 8.5% of respondents that selected “other,” which includes scenarios such as policy differences between state locations or union employees versus nonunion employees.
A total of 541 organizations participated in this survey, which was conducted in July 2012. Of those who identified themselves, 59.8% are privately owned, 8% are public entities, and 28.63% are government or nonprofits. The companies represented a range from 2 to 144,000 employees, although, the average company size is 1,283 workers.
HR managers and directors account for 57.7% of the survey participants who self-identified. Other human resources professionals make up 23.7% and 18.6% are in other areas with HR responsibilities.
Of employers surveyed, 30.3% have a union-free workforce, and 4.6% have a workforce that is at least 50% union employees.
On average, the respondents to our survey serve a workforce that is 32.6% salaried exempt, 9% salaried nonexempt, 15.3% hourly office, and 26.34% hourly nonoffice.
Almost half (48.1%) of the participants are in service industries; 23.3% are in agriculture, forestry, construction, manufacturing, or mining; 7.8% are in wholesale, retail, transportation, or warehousing; and 21% are in real estate, utilities, or “other.”
Health Care and Social Assistance
Finance and Insurance
Professional, Scientific, Technical Services
Other Services (except Public Administration)
Information (Media, Data, Telecommunication)
Transportation and Warehousing
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
Accommodation, Food Services
Administrative and Support Services
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting
Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction
Management of Companies and Enterprises
Waste Management/Remediation Services
Again, thanks to all who participated. Our next survey will be “Your HR Department,” a very practical survey to let you see how your department’s structure and priorities compare with those of other employers.
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