Why policies and procedures are important business tools
We've all been there, the workplace with endless rules and regulations.
Pages of "don't do this" and thinly veiled guidelines on how to lose your job.
In 2023 those kinds of workplaces aren't just unpleasant, they're out of touch with psychological safety.
Business works better with a framework than it does with a series of rules and regulations.
There is absolutely a case for policies and procedures in the workplace, but not for the sake of having rules to catch people out.
Where policies make sense, is where potential risk exists.
In those circumstances, policies provide a firmer guideline, clearer boundaries than leaving decision making to guess work.
This is particularly relevant when the cost of getting things wrong could potentially cause serious harm.
Whether that is real or perceived is irrelevant.
What matters is the potential for that harm to eventuate.
Policies are a framework that draw the line in the sand.
Your actions are the markers that fill in the gaps and make the picture come to life.
But, writing rules in a handbook isn't a set and forget tool of success.
What matters is the language you use, both in the writing and the modelling.
Write in plain language, set clear boundaries, lead by example.
Make your policies more than "don't do this".
Make them key to your framework for success rather than a punitive discourse.
Live them, breathe them.
And show your team how to do the same.
To get the most out of your policies, consider the following
Whats the goal?
Who does this apply to?
- What processes have they got in place to support this?
- What knowledge do they need to build upon?
- What structure do you need to implement/change?
- What business capabilities do they need to strengthen?