Making Policies and procedures Work

Creating policies and procedures that work requires careful planning and concerted effort that involves different stakeholders.

last updated Monday, April 1, 2024
#Policies and Procedures #Access to Procedures

John Burson     Subscribe
How Do You Make Policies and Procedures Work?


A standard problem organizations face is compliance with policies and procedures, especially in the fast-paced world. Sometimes, the procedures are quite long, making it difficult for employees to read and follow them. The most significant risk is that you have complex, unreadable, and boring procedures.

Another challenge is that nobody is following your procedures. When employees use procedures regularly, they will notice when things are outdated and alert you. Revisions help you ensure you have effective procedures in place.

What Challenges Exist within your Employees?

Sometimes, your team has no access to procedures, often assuming you have no policies and procedures documents in place. Your procedures could be too broad, too complex or too simple, failing to offer specific instructions on different operations. Your employees will also not use generic, confusing, inconsistent, or poorly written procedures.

Quality procedures complement your training efforts, especially for novice employees who must refer to them repeatedly until the processes become second nature. Seasoned employees may also refer to them periodically and can help review and update the procedures.

Making your Policies and procedures Work

Creating policies and procedures that work requires careful attention to the following:

  1. To keep your procedures up to date, use technology such as blogs, wikis, intranets, document management systems, internal software, and new knowledge management systems.
  2. Create procedures that are direct to the point, concise, and clear.
  3. Make use of visual aids such as graphics and pictures.
  4. Offer an online system with search aids that employees can access easily.
  5. Make the procedures readily available where they are most applicable.
  6. Reinforce ISO guidelines that require revision control as part of the day-to-day job.
  7. Get rid of procedures that are too generic.
  8. Update the procedures regularly and make sure they are useful.
  9. Use a simple, standard, and easy-to-use read format on the documents.
  10. Start an organizational culture that emphasizes following procedures by involving the employees who have to follow the procedures in the company's development and policies and procedures that guide their daily activities.

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