5 Strategies to Creating Policies that are Effective and Engaging
Every organization wants their polices to be read by stakeholders, staff and vendors. But the truth is, most workers aren’t reading or engaging with your policies – if they were, businesses wouldn’t be running into so many compliance issues or repeated staff errors.
If quality assurance is something you’re interested in knowing more about, we’ve got a strategy for raising awareness, getting everyone onboard, and making significant improvements to your policy management system.
- Standardize Policies
You’ll want to use a standardized template for your policies and procedures so there is a common look and feel to your documentation. Document management software can help with this. You’ll also want to determine what policies are or are not needed. Typical polices include policies for: electronic devices, risk management, quality, information security, disaster recovery, equal opportunities, data protection, emergency planning, and health and safety.
- Set Up a Policy Governance Team
Rome wasn’t built in a day and an effective policy management system can’t be created and managed by one person. However, using a policy automation system can condense the workload involved in managing this process, but there still needs to be a team to govern the guidelines. Each of your policies should have an official owner or moderator to help manage and set up the policy parameters and to be sure the policies are being updated accordingly. It is important to then utilize the appropriate departments of your business for their contribution and approval before a policy goes live. Each department should be assigned responsibilities like approving, creating, or publishing documents throughout the process. By empowering and involving your various departments with this level of input and approval, you will successfully create a complete infrastructure around policy management and avoid unnecessary risk.
- Connection is Key
Many times, policies contain links to other policies. Hyperlinking your policies together so your staff members can easily breeze from one policy to the next is a great way to provide complete comprehension on policy topics. This will encourage your staff to find and absorb more of your policy information quicker.
- Keep it Simple
Remember that communication is about your audience—you don’t want to have to ask your staff to work harder than they have to. Offering automation and workplace efficiencies can lead to better employee retention. Make sure your policies are easy to read. Avoid the use of complicated vocabulary or industry jargon that they might not understand. At the same time, don’t simplify your policies so much that your audience thinks “I already know this” and skims through what you’ve written. The key is to keep your policies simple, but packed with information in an easy to understand manner. Try using analogies, humor if appropriate, graphics to break up heavy text, process flow diagrams, visual representation, video, webinars, and audio to go along with your written policies too.
- Use a Software Management System
The last thing you want to do is have your policies locked up in a binder and tucked away in the Human Resources office or stuck on a shared drive. They should be easily accessible to all your employees. The best way to manage this is through a software management system which provides the framework for managing and controlling all your policies throughout their entire lifecycle.
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