Posts Tagged ‘policy writing’

How to Write an Effective Company Policy

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Are you struggling to write your company’s policy? If so, here are a few ideas to get you started.

You can organize your policy as follows:

Purpose – Explain what the policy is about and why your employees should follow the policy. To come up with this information, ask yourself “What behavior am I trying to teach?” or “What behavior am I trying to change?” or “What behavior am I trying to stop?”. For example, you may have implemented your Dress Code policy to get your employees to wear proper business attire to project a more professional image of your company.

Scope – Indicate who should follow the policy. Your Dress Code policy may apply only to your Sales and Marketing staff who deal with your customers face to face.

Out of Scope – Indicate who the policy does not apply to. Your Dress Code policy may not apply to back office staff who don’t deal with customers.

Effective Date – Tell your employees when the policy comes into effect. If your policy is effective today, you can say effective immediately.

Responsibilities – Explain who is responsible for what. Ask yourself questions like “Who will make sure that everyone follows the policy?” or “Who will enforce it?” You can also explain the levels of enforcement such as a verbal warning for a first offence, written warning for a second offence, and demotion or dismissal for a third offence (depending on how serious the offence is).

Policy Statements – List all the regulations, requirements or the do’s and don’ts. This is the main part of your policy. It can be one to several pages, depending on how complex your policy is. For your Dress Code policy, you can list what is acceptable or unacceptable business attire.

Other Sections You Can Include

Background – Explain the history or events that led to the creation of your policy. Maybe you’re implementing a Dress Code policy because one of your biggest customers complained about your staff dressing unprofessionally.

Definitions – Spell out acronyms that are unique to your company, and explain ambiguous terms and concepts.

Distribution – Specify who gets a copy of the policy.

Contacts – Tell your employees who to contact for further information.

Review and Revision – Specify how often the policy is reviewed, who reviews it, and who authorizes the policy. You also can tell your employees that your company reserves the right to rescind or amend the policy at any time.

So that’s it in a nutshell. With these ideas in mind, writing a policy is not so bad. The key is to organize the information so that your employees can follow it easily.

What was your experience in writing your company’s policy? Please share them in the comments.