Writing Policies and Procedures

Writing Policies and Procedures

welcome to the ten essential items of running great workplace policies and procedures the things that you must have in your policies and procedures the first thing is to make sure that you have a consistent structure and that's about people finding the information really easily so if you've developed a full suite of policies you want them to be used you want your employees to know exactly where to go to get that key information quickly the second thing is to make sure that you've got a statement of why that policy exists give some reasons for the policy so that employees can relate to it for example at the HR shared an HR intranet we actually have a policy we use for our clients on annual leave and that states that the company would rather the people take their annual leave regularly and that they take their full quantity of leave every 12 months and that's a way for them to rest and recuperate and re-energize themselves by having time off work that's the positive spin on the policy the management perspective that sits behind that policy is that the organization doesn't really want to carry a huge liability in in annual leave accrual so they would prefer that employees do take that annually regularly so there is always a management reason for having a policy you don't need necessarily to have that written in to your policy you can frame it in a positive way for the employees the third thing is that the policy must match your culture so for example if you have in a new leave policy that says we value people checking and you leave you can't turn around and then ring them every five minutes while they're on there annually or make it really difficult for them to get annually reproach because what you say and what you do are two different things and that's going to be really negative for your organizational culture so make sure that they're aligned it's not all bad though if you're looking at implementing policies and procedures as a way of changing your organizational culture there are fabulous tool to do that and it's okay then for bit of a mismatch what you need to do is have your line managers on board for why those organizational policies are changing what aspects are changing and support them in implementing that change and we've seen time and time again policies and procedures change organizations to become more professional places to work it's really easy for decision making for managers and employers really respect that there's somewhere to go and find out consistent information so they are a great tool and you can use them for change in your organization the fourth thing is definitions now that sounds pretty basic you would want a definition in a policy but some people don't include a definition and the problem is if an employee can misconstrue some key words in a policy for their own benefit they'll try to do so so make sure your definitions are really clear we were doing an HS policy on visitors for a particular client who had a golf course and a combination facility on site they've never been able to get anyone to sign in the visitors even though the visitor book set at reception when we did our definitions around what a visitor is they have so many different types of visitors it was quite confusing for the front desk staff to make that decision so we included what a visitor is not and that made all the change and now that policy and that visitor record is being used all the time so it can be as simple as putting in your definition what something isn't and you just want decision-making to be really easy with your policies on number five you want to scope who does this policy apply to I want to know if I should be reading this apply see as an employee or as a lineman or doesn't manager does that apply to me and that also will help with your permission so for example in the HR intranet that we sell we permission off those policies that just relate to line managers so employees can't get access to it so making sure your scope is clear does help with that it's number six you want to have responsibilities in there and in particular for procedures you want to who's responsible for what but even in policies you want to know who's responsible and what those responsibilities are so for example our annual leave policy we say within that that management is responsible for ensuring that annual leave is taken regularly and and according to the policy and the workflow requirements where as employees are responsible for submitting their leave request forms in a timely manner and understanding the seasonal requirements of their work so that means that employees are going to understand that they can't always get their entitlement at a busy time of the year so it's just important to put those things in for clarity number seven you want to have related documents that makes it easy to find those key forms and make sure everyone's using the most current form so at the end of our policies and procedures we have a related document section and we in the HR 7 HR intranet they're actually hyperlinked so an employee can just click on that related document and it goes straight through to the form they need but in a manual system you can still have related documents there and it just ensures people are using the right form and using the system as a full system number eight you want key dates this is pretty obvious you want to know when the date when the policy was approved and when it was altered a lot of big organizations will actually go through an annual program of reviewing all their policies and they'll review against legislation usability is this policy or procedure helping us in the organization and just make sure that their policies are up to date at the HR share the nature internet we do that more than annually we are constantly looking at best practice over 12 years of information and research has been included in our policies and we will tweak things to make sure that they work for organizations in all industries so we're constantly reviewing and updating and if you're a member of the shed or the entire Internet then you get those policies direct to you and you don't have to do your review from certainly a legislative perspective but you can look at them from your own organization perspective number nine a title you want to have a clear title you want people to be able to locate the policy they're looking for pretty quickly so that they can use that policy immediately when they want it and finally number ten you want a policy code this is particularly important if you have controlled documentation obviously each policy will be coded you might start at double o1 and go through it just means as you're working through your updates as well you know where you're up to and what policy has been updated at what time so in summary there are ten things that you really want to have in your policies and procedures you want to have a consistent structure you want to have this statement of why the policy exists you want to make sure that that policy meets your culture you want to have definitions and scope you want to outline the responsibilities what are the related documents of it the key dates and finally the title and policy code so now the key items that you need for your policy is to be great and usable in your business and transform your business and I hope you've really enjoyed this information and if you want some more information on policies and procedures just sign up below for our next free training video which is on social media policy the must-haves for dealing with Facebook and Twitter and productivity issues in your business

7 thoughts on “Writing Policies and Procedures

  1. Really helpful! Studying a unit currently and required to write a policy and a procedure to match, had no clue where to start. This has been very helpful, thankyou!

  2. Tks for your sharing. Many interesting tips. I have a question and I'd to ask at 8th key point that how an employee determine if a policy a current? he/she can look at the history log to find out which is newer but neva know the latest. so what define a current policy ? many thanks

  3. This is great! I've summarized your 10 Essential Items here to use as an accompanied handout. I appreciate the simplified explanation for these essentials and pass them on to others looking for a basis to begin policy development in their organization.

    Very Helpful stuff, thank you.

    Ten (10) Essential Items for Policy Creation
    1. Have consistent structure
    2. Statement as to why the policy exists
    3. The policy must match your culture
    4. Definitions
    5. Scope of/for the policy
    6. Outline Responsibilities (procedures)
    7. Related documents: Key forms
    8. Key dates, policy approved and/or updated or altered to keep them relevant
    9. Title for the policy
    10. Policy code

  4. Hi,
    I have a task to do for school and that is to write a policy for Software Supplies,
    would anyone have any in-depth steps and tips for Policy writing steps?
    If you do, please let me know. Thank you.

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