If you are asking yourself: why should I create polices and procedures for my business? GUESS WHAT? the answer is easy… Because it comes down to saving yourself and your business tons of possible trouble with your employees and authorities.
Without having clear documented practices to show your employees where they stand and what is expected from them, all you will get is a big pile of mess that may end with a lawsuit.
Policy … Procedure, What’s the difference?
Policy is a management tool that sets the organization’s rules, directions and guidelines under which a company operates, and all employees must follow. A set of policies can be for the whole company, a specific department or for employees addressing important operational issues. It simply states what the management wants the employees to do, why it is required and who is responsible for enforcing and executing it. Having clear policy ensures consistency.
Procedure is how you put policies into action. It offers a step by step instruction of how and when to execute a specific task. So, in simple words Procedures are the practical application of Polices. An effective manual should include both Policies and Procedures to direct your business and get the maximum consistency as possible. If you are worried that putting up a policy and procedure manual might take a lot of time, think of how many hours it could save you trying to avoid countless nuisance in the long run.
3 Reasons why it is important to have a manual in today’s complex work environment.
- Policies and Procedures provide you with a culture of fairness and consistent treatment of your staff which reduces the risks of going through any legal claims. You need to make sure that your internal policy manual complies with all legal state requirements. When your employees read and sign a statement saying that they agree to what is in the manual – they can be held accountable for their actions.
- Written documented company policies provides a set of standards about your company’s image, and how employees are expected to behave within the company’s premises. It communicates a level of uniformity in employees’ rights and responsibilities and it also keeps consistent communication within the organization. You surely do not want to have your employees acting randomly upon different issues within your company, if so, you will be building a culture of disorganization instead.
- It saves you time! Your managers and supervisors will not waste time resolving problems and coming up with solutions that others have made before. Your employees can refer to your manual whenever an unexpected thing comes up to see how anything is done.
- It’s always advisable that you let your attorney revise your manuals to avoid going through any legal issues later on.
- Ensure that your manuals are correct and up to date with legislations.
- Your business is dynamic so make time to review and challenge your processes to be able to modify and improve them.
- Keep your manual on a shared network so that everyone has direct access to it. Make sure everyone reads and understands it.
- Business owners who cross their fingers and hope nothing goes wrong are risking having lots of problems with their staff, that would probably end with grievances and possible lawsuits.