If a company does not have policies and procedures in place, the company risks the safety of its employees, it’s capital and its reputation. By having these written up to suit your businesses needs and to cover every aspect of your business you minimize those risks.
What is the difference between a policy and procedure?
- Policy: It is a predetermined course of action which is established, a guide towards accepted business strategies and objectives. In other words, how the business links their vision with how the company operates on a daily basis.
- Procedure: It is to provide the reader with a clear and easy plan to assist in eliminating common misunderstandings and to set rules and regulations in a straight forward manner. Good procedures allow management to control situations in advance to avoid the company or the employees from making costly mistakes.
How to differentiate:
- General in nature;
- Identify company rules;
- Explain why they exist;
- Defines when it implies clearly;
- Describes who it covers;
- Shows how the rules must be enforced;
- Consequences are clearly outlined and described; and
- Normally described using simple sentences and paragraphs.
- Are to identify specific actions;
- Explain when to take actions;
- Describes any alternative options;
- States clearly emergency procedures;
- Includes all cautions and warnings;
- Gives examples;
- Illustrates how to complete forms; and
- Are written using an outline format.
Why are they important?
- They set the expectations of the company clearly;
- It keeps management accountable if something goes wrong;
- It ensures all laws and regulations are complied with;
- Assists in defending against employee claims against the company;
- Clearly indicates where employees should turn to for assistance;
- Assists in creating a cooperative working environment;
- Assists in maintaining equity;
- Encourages harmony amongst employees and management;
- It ensures that every part of work is done properly, and nothing is left unattended;
- Ensures safety of all employees;
- All employees and management know their fundamental duties;
- It sets limits to employees and to managements responsibilities and authority; and
- Segregates the duties of everyone in the company.
What are the benefits?
- Demonstrates each employee’s responsibility and assists them in understanding it;
- Eliminates the need for micro-management; and
- Provides all the essential legal protection.
Advantages of having a good Workplace Policy:
- Provides everyone in the company with clarity on what is expected of them, behavior, performance etc.
- Provides rules and regulations for better decision making;
- Ensures that employees will be treated without bias;
- Gives communications information to employees;
- Assists with complaints and issues; and
- Provides a clear framework for decision-making delegation.