While it’s the people who drive the everyday operations of any organization, it’s policies and procedures that bring much-needed structure and stability into the mix, promoting overall business longevity. Not only do they serve to outline the values of the company and describe the organization’s core rules, but they also provide employees with a detailed plan of action to guide them through various routine situations, and advise on how to handle a crisis. Simply put, policies and procedures are essential for streamlining processes within the business, ultimately making things run smoother and faster.
Here are a couple of other reasons why they are so important.
They serve as a framework
Policies and procedures make it clear who is responsible for what, who reports to whom, and offer step-by-step instructions on how to go about executing every single business operation – whether it involves customer service, stock keeping, logistics, or any other day-to-day workings of the company. And when something goes wrong, it’s these guidelines that employees consult to troubleshoot the issue or figure out who to escalate it to.
They are a useful management tool
By giving the staff a roadmap to follow, procedures help minimize confusion and miscommunication, allowing you, as the boss, to really focus on strategic tasks and think about conceiving and executing the next big idea without having to constantly intervene or micro-manage your people. This benefits everyone on the team, as productivity can increase when employees don’t have you breathing down their necks.
They promote consistency in the workplace
Policies ensure that “the organization’s way of doing business doesn’t deviate or deteriorate over time.” Also, since they are specifically tailored to your organization’s needs, they optimize both recruitment and training, and are crucial for succession planning. Whenever a new staff member joins the team, or somebody gets promoted to a higher position, they can transition easier and “learn the ropes” quicker if there are set guidelines for them to follow.
They can protect against legal action
That can come in handy if customers or even staff members decide to lodge a complaint against your business for some reason. Should anything like that happen, well-articulated policies and procedures that comply with state laws can certainly help to refute any regulatory violations in court.
So whether you are running an international corporation or a small local business, transparent policies and procedures are an absolute must. Straightforward, legally compliant, and easy-to-follow, they will help you make sure you and your staff work smarter not harder.