why do we have policy and procedures
Are you interested in growing your business while enhancing your employeeÁs ability to deliver consistent, high caliber service without dramatically increasing the burden of employee management responsibilities on you? If so, we recommend you take several minutes to read on and acquaint yourself with the importance and benefits of written, well-defined Policies Procedures! why is this important to you? Simply put, well-written policies and procedures allow employees to clearly understand their roles and responsibilities within predefined limits. Basically, policies and procedures allow management to guide operations without constant management intervention. And constant intervention equates to increase operating expenses that ultimately detract from your companyÁs profitability. So ask yourselfÁWhat condition are my companyÁs written policies and procedures in? Oh, you say you donÁt have written policies and
procedures. Fear not, itÁs never too late to take advantage of tools and techniques many of your competitors have, and are using successfully to grow their business and market share. In order to understand why policies and procedures are so important we need to know what they are, and the differences between them. What is a Policy? A ÁPolicyÁ is a predetermined course of action, which is established to provide a guide toward accepted business strategies and objectives. In other words, it is a direct link between an organizationÁs ÁVisionÁ and their day-to-day operations. Policies identify the key activities and provide a general strategy to decision-makers on how to handle issues as they arise. This is accomplished by providing the reader with limits and a choice of alternatives that can be used to ÁguideÁ their decision making process as they attempt to overcome problems. I like to think of ÁpoliciesÁ as a globe where national boundaries, oceans, mountain ranges and other major features are easily identified.
What is a Procedure? The ultimate goal of every ÁProcedureÁ is to provide the reader with a clear and easily understood plan of action required to carry out or implement a policy. A well-written procedure will also help eliminate common misunderstandings by identifying job responsibilities and establishing boundaries for the jobholders. Good procedures actually allow managers to control events in advance and prevent the organization (and employees) from making costly mistakes. You can think of a procedure as a road map where the trip details are highlighted in order to prevent a person from getting lost or ÁwanderingÁ off an acceptable path identified by the companyÁs management team. Policies and procedures are required when there is a need for consistency in your day-to-day operational activities. Policies and procedures also provide clarity to the reader when dealing with accountability issues or activities that are of critical importance to the company, such as, health and safety, legal liabilities, regulatory requirements or issues that have serious consequences. Are Your Policies and Procedures Meeting Your Needs? An increase in the number of accidents, higher failure rates or costly overruns. More staff questions on Ánormal operationsÁ or a feeling of general confusion within a department or division. Employees may also be demonstrating inconsistency in their job performance and there may be an increase in the workforceÁs stress levels. Customers are increasing complaints. Now that we have a better understanding of policies and procedures, letÁs take a look at the major benefits they provide. Employees understand the constraints of their job without using a Átrial and errorÁ approach, as key points are visible in well-written policies and procedures. Policies and procedures enable the workforce to clearly understand individual and team responsibilities, thus saving time and resources.
Everyone is working off the same page; employees can get the ÁofficialÁ word on how they should go about their tasks quickly and easily. Clearly written policies and procedures allow managers to exercise control by exception rather than Ámicro-manageÁ their staff. They send a ÁWe Care! Á message. ÁThe company wants us to be successful at our jobs. Á Clearly written policies and procedures provide legal protection. Juries apply the Ácommon personÁ standard. If written clearly so that outsiders understand, the company has better legal footing if challenged in court. LetÁs return to the first question we asked. Are you interested in growing your business without dramatically increasing your burden of employee management responsibilities? If your answer is yes, we recommend reviewing and implementing policies and procedures that are effective, and work on your companyÁs behalf. M Have you heard that question before? Perhaps you were even the one asking it. How happy were you with the answer you gave, or with the one you received? Frequently people struggle to give a clear and meaningful response to such an obvious question. It is, however, probably one of the most important questions to answer before starting or updating a system of. So Why Do We Have Processes and Procedures? There are page-long lists of why policies and procedures are necessary, but, of course, such long lists lose meaning and value. By the time you read to the bottom, you don t remember what was at the top of the list. Plus, such long lists have too much overlap and repetition. A simple approach may be more useful. The purpose for creating an Policies Procedures Improve Compliance Complying with laws and regulations should be the most basic function of an organization.
Even the smallest of organizations must comply with tax laws and with state and local regulations (i. e. zoning, licensing), while some organization must cope with a myriad of federal and state laws and regulations. Other compliance issues may deal with like ISO 9001, ISO 22000, or UL. While procedures themselves may not demonstrate compliance, well-defined and documented processes (i. e. procedures, training materials) along with records that demonstrate can make evident an effective internal control system and compliance to regulations and standards. Let s face it; if your organization is having trouble in performing the rudimentary function of obeying laws and regulations, then it is likely struggling even more at being and successful in fulfilling its core missions. If compliance is an issue in your organization, then creating well-defined processes documented by procedures in order to meet your legal and regulatory requirements should be a high priority. Ensure Operational Needs Are Met through Policies and Procedures What is really important in your business? What is fundamental for its success? Are practices associated with them being steered by top management? How much visibility and transparency is there into the effectiveness of these key processes? This brings us to the next important role of ; to ensure processes fundamental to the organization s success are properly guided by management, are performed in a consistent way that meets the organizations needs, and that important related information and data are captured and communicated. For example, if regularly introducing new and improved products is essential to the success of your business, shouldn t you be in control of your that captures customer requirements and desires so they can be translated into your product design? Shouldn t there be well-documented design review and product launch processes?
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