Managing a business is tricky; but managing the people working within a business can be even trickier. Policies and procedures lay the foundation for each and every activity that takes place within a business. From expected workplace behaviours and maintaining a safe working environment, to claiming reimbursements and travel expenses – policies and procedures cover absolutely everything!

At an organisational level, policies and procedures, when developed and implemented effectively, articulate where the company is going, how it plans to get there, and the way each and every employee contributes to that plan.

What is the difference between a policy and a procedure?

Policies and procedures aren’t the same thing. A policy outlines the link between a businesses visions and values and its day-to-day operations. Whereas a procedure describes the specific actions that employees should follow when adhering to a policy. It’s important to remember that workplace procedures are just as important as policies because they explain to workers how they should deal with different situations and when.

Policies and procedures need regular reviewing and updating

Businesses evolve over time and with that, the way employees carry out certain tasks also change. That’s why it’s vital that policies and procedures are reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis, to ensure their effectiveness and suitability to the businesses changing needs. With that, employees should also undergo regular training to not only keep them in the loop of any changes, but to remind employees of existing policies and procedures in order to keep workers on track. It’s not sufficient just to have policies and procedures; the business should be able to demonstrate that they have been effectively communicated to the workforce at an individual level to ensure their reliability.

The benefits of following policies and procedures

It may not always be easy or quick to follow rules, but policies are put in place to ensure tasks are performed correctly and safely no matter the effort required. Following policies and procedures is good for everyone as a whole, and it’s important that employees understand why following them is crucial.

Business owners have an obligation to provide adequate information, instruction, supervision and training to all workers. New employees should be trained in relevant policies and procedures, and all existing workers should receive appropriate and ongoing training. Policies and procedures should also be discussed regularly at team meetings, keeping them as a priority and reiterating their important function in the business.

Although it takes time and effort to develop and implement relevant and practical policies and procedures in an organisation, the benefits assist in providing a safe and healthy working environment for all employees in the following ways:

  • When employees follow policies and procedures, time and resources are used more efficiently helping to reach goals and achieve growth.
  • Policies and procedures provide consistency and help workers to understand the individual responsibilities and expectations, and what employees can expect from managers and team mates.
  • When procedures are followed, tasks are performed correctly, providing consistent customer service. This leads to an increase in the the overall quality of service, improving the company’s reputation.
  • Workplace accidents and incidents are less likely to occur when policies and procedures are adhered to. This reduces liability and risk for business owners and limits disruptions to operations.

Common policies and procedures

Not all policies and procedures will be relevant to all businesses, but a few common ones that will apply to most include:

  • Code of conduct
  • Discrimination, Bullying and Harassment Policy
  • Drug and Alcohol Policy
  • Grievance Dispute, Performance Management and Termination Policy
  • IT and Social Media Policy
  • Leave Policy
  • Occupational Health Safety and Environment Policy
  • Recruitment and Selection Policy
  • Travel and Expenses Policy

Want help developing and implementing relevant and up-to-date policies and procedures in your business? Need a qualified and skilled professional to review your current policies and procedures? Don’t hesitate to get in touch for an obligation-free chat about how we could assist via the chat box or by calling us on 08 6150 0043.

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