Creating and implementing useful and resilient corporate policies is an important task for anyone who wants to run a successful business with happy and compliant employees. However, this is not always the case. Simple task! If you’re struggling with the burden of policy writing, try breaking down the process of conceptualizing how to create the best policies and procedures for your organization into the following eight steps.
1. Start with your needs
The first step in learning how to create the right policies and procedures for your organization is to identify why you’re creating a policy in the first place. Employers should not create policies and processes for every unforeseen event or hypothetical situation. Ultimately, it just limits management’s ability to address unique situations and specific individual employee needs.
Instead, the policies you create should address identifiable needs within your organization. Does employee behavior indicate confusion about appropriate behavior in certain situations, such as attendance or cell phone use? Does your organization require legal protection? Should consistent standards and rules be developed to ensure fair discipline or equal treatment? Once you have identified the need within your business that the policy will address, what will this policy accomplish within your organization? It makes it easier to clarify your goals and start collecting the data you need to reach them.
2. Outline the content of the policy
As with all organizations, all policies are different and require different than written policies and processes. However, as you learn how to create policies and procedures, you will find that most policies contain similar components. These include:
- Purpose statement. Why is your organization issuing this policy? What is the desired outcome?
- Specification. The specification section should contain information about any specific requirements or regulations regarding the policy in question. If you have a dress code policy, outline the dress standards required by your organization and explain any exceptions (if any) and when they apply.
- Implementation. This section specifies who is expected to enforce this policy, how it is enforced, and how compliance is expected to be enforced.
- Effective date. When does this policy come into effect?
- Glossary. Include a list that defines terms in the policy.
3. Get input from key stakeholders and SMEs
Communication is key! Before changing or adding to policies and processes, you should get input from at least a sample of the people in your organization who these changes will actually affect. This includes managers and employees who understand the policy area of concern. Don’t forget to reach out to legal, administrative, human resources and financial experts as needed.
It may be wise to form a policy committee to get input on new policies and processes. Membership reflects the structure of the company as closely as possible. This ensures that all relevant areas within the company have a say. Policy committees also help the creation process maintain communication, efficiency, and focus, adding another outlet for oversight.
4. Write a policy
Once you have identified what the policy should contain, it’s time to actually create it. Policies and procedures should be written in clear and concise language. However, there should also be flexibility built into the wording and structure so that it can be easily applied when different situations arise. Terms such as “generally”, “usually” and “usually” allow leeway for management to interpret and apply the policy.
When creating policies, it’s best to avoid:
- Rigid language, such as stating that a business “only” or “always” behaves in a certain way
- Describe employees as permanent or promising job security
- Comprehensive list
5. Ask for feedback
After drafting a policy, you can solicit feedback within your organization to ensure that the new policy is easy to understand and actionable. This is the time to implement the policy review process. A good and thorough policy review process should:
- Suitable people. A productive policy review includes all relevant company stakeholders. Similar to the input steps above, the review process includes all members of the legal team, operations department, or finance department, depending on what is being reviewed.
- Concentration. The feedback process is both additive and reductive. what works? What are you missing? It may be necessary to add more information, definitions, or visual aids. Alternatively, you may want to exclude things that are irrelevant or unnecessary to the underlying message of your policy.
- Organization. Divide the policy review process into stages. At each stage, stakeholders should read the policy carefully and provide thoughtful feedback. A policy review is more than just a ticking of a box, it should be carefully considered. The feedback process should be conducted at a level within the organization that corresponds to the applicability of the policy being reviewed. If the entire company is affected, the policy should be reviewed and approved at a senior level by a group or individual with organizational perspective and subject matter knowledge.
6. Distribution to employees
The time has come to deliver the completed policy to the public. As you roll out your implementation, give your employees the information they need to understand why a new policy was introduced. Also, you need to decide which method is best for your rollout. email? memo? A meeting?
Once distributed, give employees the opportunity to ask questions about the policy in case they need clarification. In addition, the new policy will include an acknowledgment letter that can be signed and dated by the employee, demonstrating understanding and adherence to the policy and its effective date. Once in place, let your employees know where they can access this policy in case they need to refer to it later.
7. Test comprehension
Employees often approve new policies without fully understanding what they read. This may require additional training later on. Make it a standard practice to test understanding of policies and procedures shared with employees.
In addition to testing your comprehension when a new policy is published, you can also test it again after six months, and then annually thereafter. This ensures that changes in behavior don’t go unnoticed until they become critical to business operations. By regularly testing employees on their knowledge of policies, you can identify things that employees may have forgotten over time and improve compliance with policies across your organization.
8. Schedule reviews and updates
No static organization. That policy should not be static either. A well-written policy that is regularly reviewed and updated is an important source of communication within the enterprise and demonstrates the organization’s dedication to meeting the evolving needs of its employees. Regular reviews and updates also help ensure that our policies comply with federal and state laws. The expert generally recommends that he review the policy at least once a year.
9. Ask for an expert’s support on how to create policies and procedures
Does this all sound intimidating? It doesn’t have to be! When it comes to how to formulate policies and procedures, the shortest answer is to use the right tools. Approaching DELTA Data Protection & Compliance, Inc. is the final step towards perfect policy writing.
From the ability for multiple users to collaborate on a single document and track changes, to the ability to automate reviews and approvals, our platform is packed with essential features for a productive and efficient policy development process. Our tool does not only help in streamlining the entire authoring process, it also makes distribution and implementation easy, tracks employee approvals, creates policy quizzes to test understanding, schedules automated review dates, and keeps policies and processes out of step with other processes. of your organization.
If you’re looking for a better way to develop your business’ policies and procedures, look no further! Contact us today.
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