Policies and Procedures
Policies are predetermined guidelines proposed by an organization to handle an issue. Procedures are a set way of carrying out a task or handling an objective.
Policies and Procedures Details
Policies and procedures are guidelines created by the management of an organization. They reveal objectives and how the company plans to achieve them. A policy helps employees understand what is expected from them—what they should do, how they should conduct themselves, and what they should not do. Code of conduct, health and safety policy, mobile phone policy, no smoking policy, and drug and alcohol policy are examples of policies. Procedures explain how a company can achieve an objective. A procedure helps an employee understand how to carry out tasks and achieve the set objectives of a business.
There are different types of policies and procedures that an organization can have. But whatever category they fall under, policies and procedures are important for any organization. Organizations that follow them can enjoy legal protection, providing a conducive environment for working and achieving the company's objectives.
Policies and Procedures Example
Company A is reviewing its fire safety procedures with the fire chief. The chief asks to see the company's escape plan in case of a fire. Taken off guard and a bit embarrassed, the company's head admits that they do not have any escape procedures in case of a fire. The fire chief immediately suggests that they go around the building to locate fire exits and draft a series of fire safety policies to share with employees.
By the end of the day, the company has successfully come up with its documentation. Two of the top policies deal with the prevention of fires:
- No smoking inside the building.
- No lit candles, matches, or lighters are allowed inside.
Types of Policies and Procedures
Organizations require different types of procedures and policies to deal with different things. Some of them are:
- Health and Safety: Health and safety policies should include handling sick employees or injury at work.
- Expenses: The policies and procedures for expenses apply when an employee uses their own money to purchase or acquire commodities for the organization.
- Harassment and Discrimination: One way to ensuring a safe work environment is by protecting employees against harassment and discrimination. The organization should develop rules that discourage it and ways in which the company will deal with such situations.
- Employee Conduct: Also be known as the code of conduct. It should state what the company requires from employees, what they should do, and what they should not do. Policies and procedures for employee conduct can also include guidelines on dress code and use of drugs and alcohol.
- Organization Property: Guidelines that state when an employee can use the company's property, how they should use it, and any property that an employee cannot use.
Significance of Policies and Procedures
Policies and procedures show the objectives of an organization. When the organization has clear set objectives, it makes the work of employees and the management easier. Management and other employees in the organization understand what the company expects of them.
Policies and procedures also ensure legal protection. This applies when the organization is involved in a legal case like workers' compensation or customer claims. Documented policies and procedures can act as a defense of the organization. A company's policies and procedures also aid internal conflicts. They help ensure that any issue is settled fairly and justly.