Updated: Sep 13, 2022
Policies, Procedures and Governance
Policies and procedures are a fundamental and important part of any organization. Policies, procedures and governance are fundamental to the control, operational efficiency and compliance of any organization.
Together, policies and procedures provide a roadmap for day-to-day operations by outlining control activities, expected standards and key employee responsibilities. Clearly defined policies and procedures that are effectively communicated throughout the organization will foster a culture of compliance and governance through clear expectations of employee behavior and principles.
Robust policies and procedures ensure your organization complies with laws and regulations and makes informed decisions. The existence of weak policies and procedures reduces the effectiveness of business operations, increases in employee inquiries, breakdowns in compliance and governance, and undocumented operational processes lead to the loss of certain business knowledge.
How to Create a Really Effective Internal Company Policy
Refocus your company's internal policies and procedures. Start by asking yourself the following questions: Do your employees understand and follow company policies? Do your policies adequately reflect existing business processes? Bestar will help you successfully adapt "off-the-shelf" company policies and procedures so they actually do what they're supposed to do.
1. Determine how the relevant business process actually works
It goes without saying that a policy must be relevant and useful. Therefore, to create such a policy, first determine the owner of the relevant business process, and the specific control points and documents to which it belongs. Policy terms should be drafted to clearly and comprehensively describe all potential complexities and ambiguities that users may encounter when engaging in existing processes. Employees need guidance in dealing with various situations and under no circumstances should they be left to work alone.
2. Policies should be written in a user-friendly manner, i.e. in simple, understandable and well-organized language
Whether you are drafting a new policy document or amending an existing policy document, you should carefully analyze all policy terms to ensure that everything is written in clear language and in a style that is clear and understandable, and any terms could not be interpreted in a contradictory way. When writing document, use language that can be understood even by employees who are not normally associated with the relevant business process.
3. Avoid writing documents that are too long and don't forget to quote existing company policies
When drafting an internal document, keep in mind that the shorter and simpler it is, the easier it is for external users to skim through it and follow its guidelines. Too lengthy and verbose statements can obscure or hide the core meaning of the document. For good style and understandable tone, provide a brief summary of the main terms of the document on page 1 and a link to the full version and details in the appendix.
4. List the responsible persons from whom the employee can seek help and clarification, and provide their contact details
Employees involved in certain procedures often still have questions after reading the relevant policies. Therefore, the document should contain information about who they can contact for answers and guidance. Such contacts may be provided directly as links in the base text or in separate sections, or as separate designated contact lists for specific issues.
5. After adopting the new policy, send an informational email outlining the new policy and how it will be implemented. Then, follow up with regular refresher courses for employees
Training on key policies and procedures is the most effective way to help employees understand these regulatory requirements and develop the relevant skills to put new knowledge into practice. Best practice is to train on the most common real-world examples and provide participants with in-depth analysis and Q&A opportunities.
6. Send regular email reminders about key policy terms
Send regular email reminders about existing policies and procedures through a mailing list to keep your colleagues well informed about company policy compliance requirements. If necessary, the email should contain a summary of the relevant procedure and a link to the actual document.
7. Create a quick sheet or checklist outlining the key terms of the core policy
Employees can keep this quick form or checklist on their desk or next to their computer as a handy reference guide when they need to use the given policy provisions in their daily work. They can help employees better understand the policy and how to apply it in various work-related situations.
You can create effective communication channels to keep your coworkers informed about existing and new company policies and procedures that govern how they work. This, in turn, will allow you to ensure that all employees apply the rules correctly and consistently in the workplace.
Connect with us
At Bestar, we build customized solutions to help our clients achieve their strategic goals.
Bestar can work with your organization to develop or improve existing policies through our technical expertise in policy development; Our knowledge and capabilities provide access to an extensive library of benchmarked best practices and work with you to develop plans and implement your organizational change.
Additionally, we can work with your business to define and develop appropriate procedures to ensure compliance with established organizational policies. Bestar will drive the delivery of best practices that are easy to understand and use through a medium tailored to your organization, including prescriptive documentation or visual mapping.
We can help
- develop a governance framework to strengthen internal controls and ensure alignment with business strategy
- develop departmental and functional policies that define standards, rules and conditions for conducting key business activities - recommend the "best fit" process management tools and technology platforms that meet the organization's needs and support implementation - develop business process diagrams and operational procedures to define workflow and activity responsibilities - develop evaluation reports that outline opportunities for improvement
- drive a culture of continuous improvement by establishing organizational process management functions and training relevant stakeholders.
Like to learn more? Contact us to discuss how Bestar can help you to improve or develop policies and processes.