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Writing Effective Policies & Procedures

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    Writing Effective  Policies & Procedures Writing Effective Policies & Procedures Presentation Transcript

    • WRITING EFFECTIVE POLICIES & PROCEDURES
      By: Noha Atef
    • TO BE COVERED
      • Identify the necessity of having organizational policies& procedures
      • Understand the differences between policies& procedures
      • Understand the link between organization’s values and its policies& procedures
      • Learn the process of writing effective policies& procedures
      • Learn how to publish and distribute policies& procedures
      • Examine the principles behind successful policy &procedure implementation
      • Understand the necessity of updating and revising policies& procedures
    • DEFINITIONS OF POLICIES& PROCEDURES
      Policy: (it tells us What to do and Why)
      • Rule
      • Standard
      • Guidelines
      • Philosophy
      • Objective
      Procedure: (It tells us When and How)
      • Protocol
      • Steps
      • Instruction
      • Note: Procedure can be written without the existence of policy.
    • Why Do We Need Policies& Procedures?
      A Policy is a direct link between an organization’s vision and day-to-day operations.
      A Procedure is a serious of routine steps to accomplish an action. Well-written procedures eliminate misunderstanding by identifying job responsibilities and establishing boundaries for job holders.
    • DIFFERENCE BETWEEN POLICIES & PROCEDURES
      POLICIES
      Major in nature
      Identify company rules
      Explain why they exist
      Tell when the rule applies
      Describe who it covers
      Describe the consequences
      Are described using simple sentences and paragraphs.
    • PROCEDURES
      • Identify specific actions or steps
      • Explain when to take actions
      • Describe alternatives
      • Include warnings and cautions
      • Give examples
      • Show how to complete forms
      • Are normally written using and outline format.
    • BENEFITS OF POLICIES & PROCEDURES
      • Employees are provided with information that allows them freedom to carry out their jobs and make decisions within defined boundaries.
      • Policies and procedures enable the workforce to clearly understand individual and team responsibilities.
      • Employees understand the constraints of their job without using a “ trial and error” approach.
      • Clearly written policies and procedures allow managers to exercise control by exception rather than “ micro manage” their staff.
      • Policies provide guidance on how to handle issues properly.
      • Sticking to policies and procedures can help reduce the chances of things going wrong and ensure consistency and professionalism
    • How Policies & Procedures Flow From an Organization’s Basic Values?
      Definition of
      Values.
    • Values
      Organizational values defines the acceptable standards which govern the behavior of the individuals within the organization, and it must be in line with its mission and vision.
    • Five Ways to Ensure You Have Living VALUES.
      1- Communicate the values constantly (i.e. Poster them, Pop-up online message, read out-loud..etc)
      Enroll new employees
      Revisit and refresh the values
      Confront contradictory behavior
      Periodically check out with feedback.
    • TYPES
      OF POLICIES
    • BOARD Policy
      (high level policy)
      • They relate to the governance of the organisation, not the day-to-day operations
      • It does not require a procedures
      • They are related to mission, strategic plan, external communication, code of ethics, organizational values, issues for staff and compliance with legislation.
      MANAGEMENT Policy
      • Established by the management team
      • It relates to day-to-day operations
      • Management use Board Policies to guide them in the development of Management Policies.
      • They are related to health, safety, admin, finance, PR, privacy, confidentiality, and ethics.
    • Steps To Create Policy &Procedure
    • GUIDELINES TO DETERMINE THE NECESSITY FOR POLICIES
      A Policy is necessary:
      • If the actions of employees indicate confusion about the most appropriate way to behave
      • If guidance is needed about the most suitable way to handle various situations
      • When needed to protect the company legally
      • To keep the company in compliance with governmental policies and laws
      • To establish consistent work standards, rules, and regulations
      • To provide consistent and fair treatment for employees
    • GUIDELINES TO DETERMINE THE NECESSITY FOR PROCEDURES
      A Procedure is necessary when a process
      • Is lengthy (i.e. year end inventory)
      • Is complex (i.e. benefits administration)
      • Is routine, but it is essential that everyone strictly follows rules (i.e. payroll)
      • Demands consistency (i.e. handling a refund request)
      • Involves documentation (i.e. conducting appraisals)
      • Involves a significant change (i.e. installing a new computer system)
      • Has serious consequence if done wrong (i.e. safety guidelines)
    • DEVELOPING A POLICY OR PROCEDURE
      1- Articulate the Goal
      2- Gather Information (pre-writing research)
      2.1 Conduct interview with managers and employees regarding current practice and ideas
      2.2 A literature search on the topic of writing policies and procedures
      2.3 Internet search for industry specific example policies and procedures
      3- Develop and Write
      4- Review
      5- Obtain Management Support
      6- Obtain Legal Review
      7- Implement
      8- Decide How you will Communicate
      9- Interpret and Integrate
    • Helpful Hints when Writing Policies &
      Procedures
    • Use plain language
      Establish a core vocabulary
      Avoid weasel words
      Make it easy to find information
      Use a constant format
      Use action writing for procedures
      Write action sentences (Active Voice)
      Use straight order
      Use present tense
      Use second or third person
      Use short sentences
      Use authoritative and definitive tone
      Spell out acronyms
      Avoid time sensitive information
      Avoid use of jargon, Slang or overly technical words
      Be factual
    • Avoid Writing Errors
      USE THE 7C’S
      Context
      Consistency
      Completeness
      Control
      Compliance
      Correctness
      Clarity
    • WRITING FORMAT
      • Use logical, structured format
      • A modular format allows for quick and easy modification
      • Readers should know what to expect
      • Most readers need to find information quickly.
      Note:The most common format was developed by Stephan Page and presented in his book:” Writing Exceptional Policies& Procedures”
    • A POLICY& PROCEDURE DOCUMENT TEMPLATE
    • EIGHT PRINCIPLE HEADINGS
    • WHO SHOULD WRITE PROCEDURES?
      Ideally procedures should be written by team and include some of the following
      • People who will perform the job
      • People who will perform maintenance on equipment involved in the procedure
      • Engineers who designed the equipment
      • Technical writers
      • Safety personnel
      • Environmental personnel
      • Vendors
      • Suppliers
      • Contractors
    • Using Flowcharts As A Note Taking Method
      Indicates an Activity/Task/ Instruction
      Indicates Input/ Output of Data
      Indicates Decision
      Indicates the Direction of Process Flow
    • Process for Developing
      Procedures
    • Before writing a procedure, consider the following
      • Identify and involve other stakeholder in writing the procedure
      • Gather any pertinent background information i.e. interview staff who are familiar with similar activities to learn from past experiences
      • Identify applicable technical, regulatory and administrative requirements through reading documents and manuals
      • Review any possible hazards associated with the activity
    • After writing a procedure, consider the following
      • Can the procedure be performed in the sequence it is written?
      • Can the user locate and identify all the equipment referred to in the procedure?
      • An the user perform the procedure without needing direct assistance or additional information from persons not specified by the procedure?
      • Are words, phrases, abbreviations, or acronyms that have special or unique meaning to the procedure defined adequately?
      • Is there a need for special controls on data collection and project record keeping?
    • Importance of Manuals
      Manuals can be published in several media including:
      Printed text placed in a binder
      Electronic text displayed on a network or website
      Video or audio format
      One separating policies from procedures
      One combines policies and procedures together
      Types of Manuals
    • Implementing policies and procedures
      Communication Strategy (has two goals)
      • Notifying employees by sharing information
      • Improving performance
      The Strategy includes
      • Statement of scope (target audience)
      • Appropriate communication methods
      • Schedule and time line for applying the communication strategy
    • Sending out Communication
      • Distribution of the actual policies and procedures
      • Letters or memos written and addressed to supervisor and employees
      • Company newsletters and/or magazines
      • Inserts with pay cheques or pay cheque subs
      • Posters
      • Bulletin boards
      • Brochures or pamphlet
      • Training
      • Team meetings
      • Conference calls
      • Video conferencing
      • Intranet or extranet
      • Video or audio tapes
      NOTE
      • The decision regarding the most appropriate communication methods depends on the importance of the policies& procedures, the scope& target audience.
      • Supervisors should be trained and informed before employees and prior to the communication strategy being rolled out.
    • Training Strategy
      It is one communication method and it is used to teach the importance of using new policy and procedure and to share information with employees
      Lectures
      Workshops
      Departmental Meetings
      Structured on the job training
      Computer based training
      Training methods include:
    • Updates and changes
      ( Final Phase of Policies& Procedures Cycle)
      The following questions should be considered when reviewing a policy or procedure to determine if revision is necessary
      1- is the policy or procedure written used the organization’s accepted format or template?
      2- is the content up to date and comprehensive?
      3- is the information presented in a logical and easily understood manner?
      4- do all forms and illustrations contain the most current information?
      5- Are the policy and procedural statements still true?
      6- are the control points still logical and strategic?
      If the answer to all these questions is “ NO” , then revision is necessary.