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Policies and Procedures - why have them?

Policies Procedures

Policies and procedures, written well, provide the framework for a company’s entire operation.

They can provide the following benefits:-

  1. They provide insights into company values and ethical standards.
  2. They provide employees with clarity of what behavioural and performance standards are expected of them.
  3. They set rules and guidelines for decision-making in routine situations so that employees and managers do not need to continually ask senior managers what to do.
  4. They help to provide a consistent and clear response across the company to continually refer to situations involving employee interaction.
  5. They allow you to demonstrate good faith that employees will be treated fairly and equally.
  6. They allow you to have an accepted method of dealing with complaints and misunderstandings in place to help avoid favouritism.
  7. They set a framework for delegation of decision making.
  8. They give you a means of communicating information to new employees.
  9. They offer you protection from breaches of employment legislation, such as equal opportunity laws.

Importantly though: having workplace policies and procedures in place is only useful if they have been properly implemented and are continuously monitored.

Procedures are different from policies in that they provide a step-by-step guide on how to perform a certain task or operation in a business.  It is important that employees understand the correct process when performing to ensure that the service or product is maintained at the highest quality. Procedures also assist in the reduction of delays and mistakes.

Policies are a Company statement outlining standards of behaviour or limitations.  Policies typically cover any legal or ethical concerns related to a type of business or employment situation. Policies help protect employees from making decisions that could lead to both personal and company legal repercussions.

With regard to safety, policies and procedures should provide for the physical and emotional safety of employees. A well written procedure will include proper safety gear to be worn, proper use of equipment, and a step by step of how to perform the task safely. These procedures help prevent serious injury or death. Additionally, companies often have policies against bullying, harassment and workplace violations as a way of reducing the number of incidents.

When policies and procedures are reviewed and employees, customers safety data and quality data is considered in the review, it can assist greatly in continuous improvement.

Information in HR Advice Online guides and blog posts is meant purely for educational discussion of human resources issues. It contains only general information about human resources matters and due to factors such as government legislation changes, may not be up-to-date at the time of reading. It is not legal advice and should not be treated as such.

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