The Importance of Policies & Procedures
What are Policies and Procedures?
Policies define the guidelines and expectations set forth by an organization to ensure that employees’ and their departments’ actions remain consistent.
Procedures provide guidance on how to implement the policies; a set of instructions for performing specific processes required within the policy.
Why are Policies and Procedures Important?
Policies and procedures ensure employees understand what is expected of them. They enforce responsibility and accountability for employee’s actions. Policies provide legal protection to organizations in legal disputes such as discrimination or harassment. Policies and procedures also help ensure that an organization meets compliance and legal regulations.
Updating Policies and Procedures
Organizations should review and update their policies and procedures at least annually or as needed to reflect changes to business objectives or operations. Technologies and environments are ever evolving; reviewing and updating the policies ensures that changes within the organization are reflected in the current policy. An annual review also helps to identify any updates needed to align with current legal and compliance regulations that an organization must comply with. Typically updating policies and procedures requires the technical knowledge of a subject matter expert as well as sign-off or acceptance from management. Lack of knowledge on a specific business process may make policies or procedures too broad and incapable of enforcement, likewise if there is no management buy-in to the policies, they may not be enforced or followed by employees.
Policy Availability & Adherence
It is essential that policies and procedures be clearly written in a manner that is easily understandable and accessible to all employees. A company Intranet or employee handbook are common means of communicating the policies to employees. Many compliance and legal regulations require that employees acknowledge they have read and understand the policies upon hire and annually.
Policies should define consequences of policy violations. This can include potential disciplinary actions or other measures, as determined by the organization.
Maintaining organizational policies and procedures are essential for any organization. Policies set the standards within an organization. They communicate expectations, rules, and guidelines to employees, stakeholders, and customers. Procedures provide guidance on how to executive the processes required within the policies.
MegaplanIT provides guidance and advisory services, including policy and procedure development. Contact us today and let our experienced team support your compliance goals and initiatives.
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