Policies and procedures are important elements of any company. They create a framework for the company’s structure and the decisions it needs to make. When you have these two tools in place, your organization can become compliant and more efficient.
What are Policy and Procedures?
A policy is a written statement of an organization’s rules and standards of behavior. For example, a policy on employee conduct might state that employees should report any suspected violations of the law or company ethics to their supervisor.
Policies are generally written in broad terms to cover various circumstances. For example, the policy statement on employee conduct may state that employees should report any suspected violations of the law or company ethics when they occur or at the earliest opportunity after they have occurred. Each company will determine the exact time frame for reporting suspected violations based on its tolerance for risk and other factors.
Procedures are step-by-step instructions on how to perform an activity or complete a task. For example, the procedure for reporting suspected violations might specify that an employee should make a verbal report to his supervisor as soon as possible after he becomes aware of facts suggesting that misconduct has occurred. The supervisor then immediately reports to the appropriate authorities within the organization (for example, human resources).
Policies and procedures are important because they help ensure consistent organizational performance by providing guidelines for employees dealing with day-to-day tasks and situations.
Importance of a Policy and Procedure Template
A policy and procedure are not just a set of rules that you must comply with to comply. It is a way to ensure that everyone in your company knows what is expected of them and what they can expect from others.
A policy and procedure help you run a smooth operation by ensuring everyone has access to the same information, which means that no one will be left out or confused about something important. A good policy will consider all possible situations so that when something goes wrong, there is already an established plan in place for dealing with it.
Policies and procedures can help you grow your business by providing consistency, clarity, and structure. They can also protect your company from lawsuits, government investigations, and other legal problems.
- Establish a standard of quality and safety.
- Provide a framework for decision-making.
- Help staff understands their roles and responsibilities.
- Provide consistency in the way that we do things – particularly when it comes to patient care.
- Help staff understands their roles and responsibilities.
- Give staff confidence in following procedures.
Who can benefit from a policy?
A policy and procedure template can be used by any type of organization, regardless of size or industry, that wants to ensure its employees are working efficiently and safely. The template will help you create an effective process for handling situations that arise in your organization so that everyone knows what to do when these situations occur.
Financial services, including banks and insurance companies
Manufacturing, including food and beverage companies, as well as heavy industry
Nonprofits and charities, including schools, hospitals, social service organizations, and more.
Characteristics of a good policy and procedure
A good policy and procedure is a document that clearly defines rules, guidelines, and expectations for employees. It should be written in an easy-to-understand manner. Upper management usually creates policies, while supervisors or managers create procedures.
Below are some characteristics of good policies and procedures:
Clear and concise language
A good policy describes what employees must do in specific situations, such as how to handle customer complaints or when to take sick days. The language must be clear and easy for employees to understand. If employees cannot understand the policy, they will not follow it correctly, and your business could suffer from their mistakes.
Policies should be organized so that they are easy to read. Headings should be used to separate sections and make them easier to navigate, while lists should be formatted so that they are easy to read across multiple pages if necessary. In addition, policies should be numbered sequentially so that it is clear where each new item begins and ends within the document.
The tone of a policy depends on its purpose and who it is directed toward (for example, customers or employees) if you have multiple policies addressing different topics within your business.
A policy and procedure template should be measurable as it will help you determine whether what needs to be done has been done or not. For example, if there is an emergency that requires everyone to inform their supervisor and then proceed to an evacuation area. You must know how many people did not follow instructions because this will help you improve your processes in the future.
A good company policy template must be current as it helps keep everything up-to-date. This means that changes in your company structure or operations should be reflected in your policies and procedures manual so that everyone knows what they are expected to do at all times.
A good policy and procedure document should pass all tests, including those done by auditors, before being implemented in the workplace. This way, there is no chance of any mistakes occurring when people use them.
What Not to Include in a Policy and Procedure Template
When it comes to creating a policy and procedure manual, there are certain things you should not include. Here are some examples:
- Personal contact information such as phone numbers, fax numbers, and email addresses.
- Inappropriate or offensive language.
- Vulgar gestures or demeaning phrases towards people or groups of people.
- Graphic images or photos that may disturb employees or customers.
- Hate speech against specific religious groups, ethnicities, genders, or sexual orientations (even if those groups are not protected under state law).
How to write a policy and procedure?
Writing a policy or procedure is a good way to ensure that your organization meets industry standards, reduces risk, and improves efficiency. The process of writing a policy or procedure can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips for making the process as easy as possible:
The first step in writing a policy is determining what you are trying to accomplish.
The second step is to identify the various stakeholders that will be affected by your policy and determine their needs. This can be done by interviewing them or through other means of learning.
The third step is to develop a draft of your policy. This can be done using a template from an online source or by creating one from scratch using a word processing program such as Microsoft Word.
The fourth step is to submit the draft for review by others. In some organizations, this may include submitting it for approval by senior management or legal counsel; in others, it may simply mean circulating it among those who will be affected by the policy and inviting feedback and suggestions for improvement.
The fifth step is to revise the draft based on input received during the review process until everyone agrees on what should be included in the document’s final version.