Setting up a new business is a huge responsibility, and requires critical consideration. As an entrepreneur, you would want to provide top-tier products and services to clients and stand out among the competitors. It is particularly true and a preferable business approach for many entrepreneurs. Nobody in his/her right mind can argue over it. However, sometimes organizations get too busy with business operations and barely pay attention to the administrative side. Creating lackluster policies is one of the tell-tale examples of that.
Organizational policies act as an action plan that organizations are required to follow in different business situations. Policies are instrumental for growth and used to determine the current or future decisions. They ensure clear vision, efficiency, and consistency within the workplace. As a result, you end up maintaining a disciplined environment, which eventually influences the bottom line for good.
Most business owners are aware of the importance of implementing well-thought policies. But they do not know how to formulate them. If you are also one of them, the following tips will make your life a lot easier:
1. Determine The Need
Policy development begins with identifying the need. A business might subscribe to various needs such as improving employee behavior, maintaining average attendance rate, restricting employees’ use of cell phones during work hours, etc. Regardless of the type of objective you want to meet, try to be as specific as possible about the issue. It will help you give clarity of thought.
Sometimes managers get impulsive and introduce a new policy reacting to an incident that took place only once. We would recommend you avoid doing that. Executing too many policies could trigger the feeling of “being controlled”among employees. Perhaps, considering the nature of the modern-day workforce, lack of freedom is the last thing they would like to experience.
2. Dive Into Research
We can’t stress enough the importance of research while crafting a policy. The data will increase your perspective to a great degree. There is no shortage of resources when it comes to gathering information. If you have got a liberal studies online degree, you would already know how to go about research as far as policymaking is concerned. Still, we are briefly discussing the research steps below:
- Sample policies: You do not have to start writing policies right from scratch. Sample policies can give you critical insights regarding the core components of a policy document. Whether you are working on payroll, time off, safety, or any other policy type, drilling downsamples policies will complement the process.
- Tap into case studies: Regardless of the issue you are addressing in the policy, it is probable that other organizations might have also faced similar challenges in the past. You can take inspiration from their case studies to draw a lethal policy.
- Talk to the employees: Managements typically commit the blunder of not involving employees during policymaking. You may have great experience and expertise, but workers are a part of the company environment and can provide you some crucial details to help you. In some cases, they are even aware of the ground realities better than the administration. So make it a point to seek their input during the research process. Circulating a relevant questionnaire is perhaps one of the best ways to extract information from the staff.
3. Classify Potential Consequences For Policy Violation
One of the most significant benefits of policies is that they pave the way for accountability. So it is imperative to come up with possible consequences in case someone breaches or twists the standard organization procedures.
Consequently, the punishment must be in line with the respective violation. If the penalties are unjust, they will have adverse effects on the overall work environment. Nobody would ideally want to be part of an unfair workspace. Hence, the employee turnover rate will also jack up significantly. So it is highly advisable to mull over the gravity of punishments or penalties before incorporating them in the final draft. Seeking the help of a legal expert can come in handy here.
4. Write The Draft
It is arguably the most crucial step. The successful and long-term implementation of any policy has a lot to do with the method you use to secure them.To start things off, write the easy-to-understand language. Contrary to the common belief, a policy document should not necessarily include pompous industry jargon. Technical terminology usually makes it difficult for readers to understand the crux. Moreover, avoid dragging the policy document. Keep it concise without missing out on the key points, and make sure your policy contains the following elements:
- Purpose statement: The purpose statement highlights reasons that stimulate an organization to issue a policy. It also elaborates why sticking to the policy can lead to positive outcomes.
- Implementation section: The implementation segment reveals the authority that will be responsible for carrying out the policy. For example, suppose the policy is about the dress code. So you may write in the implementation segment that “the manager will inspect in the morning to examine the employee appearance.”
- Specification section: As the title suggests, the section gives you know-how about some specific details. Consider this statement as an example “it will be mandatory for employees to dress up formally from Monday to Thursday.”
- Effective date: This one is pretty self-explanatory. The effective date refers to the date upon which the policy will officially commence.
- Glossary: Try as we may; it is nearly impossible to withdraw all the technical vocabulary from the document. That is where a glossary can make a difference. It shall include comprehensive definitions of essential words.
As mentioned above, policies serve multiple purposes to a business. You simply can’t overlook their importance, even if you are leading a small team. Remember, guidelines are never permanent. You should revise them from time to time and embed the required changes.