Company policies, though variegated in content, work towards protecting and improving an organization on a handful of essential fronts. Experience indicates they are business-critical and legal lawsuits show they are unavoidable. However, as a course or principle of action, a policy isn’t to be reduced to a tool intended to placate strict regulatory bodies and maintain an untarnished public image. As much as it guides decision-making, a policy shapes the future and carries the power to effect change. Therefore, growing organizations do well to invest in better mechanisms for drafting, implementing, and updating policies.
Policies and procedures are the underpinning elements by which an organization establishes its rules of conduct. Both serve to drive compliance, but do so through starkly different methods. One puts to paper the guidelines and rules that every organization expects its employees, and every other person connected to the company, to follow. The other, procedure, presents a step-by-step process for any company specific tasks and activities, thus establishing standards.
It is said that change is the only constant, and in the context of an organization, a crucial catalyst of change is policy. Company policies promote and sustain change, ensuring that new standards and ways of working trickle down to every level of the organization. Moving from policy to practice, however, demands strategic communication. You not only need to reach out to the right persons at the right time but want to get all aboard and rowing in synchrony.