Do you review your company’s policies and procedures? Is it scheduled on your calendar? Or do you review when there is a big regulatory change? Policies and processes should align with industry standards, organizational needs, or legal requirements. It should also change with changing business scenarios. It may not the most enjoyable task, it can be tedious, but it is important for sure.

Why do we need to review policies and procedures?
 
  • Outdated policies can put the organization at risk. There are situations when you may find yourself thinking you have a certain policy in place, but it may not be in writing. You may find this costly in case an incident happens in that area and you have no written policy to refer to.
  • Old policies may be non-compliant with new laws and regulations.
  • Ensure your policies are consistent and effective. Policies and procedures should grow and adapt with a company. These need to be up to date with regulations, technology, and industry best practices.
When to do this review?
 
The best way to tackle policy and procedure review is to build it into the HR annual calendar.
 
When the organization goes through significant changes. Policies should line up with the company’s mission, vision, and values. So, if you have a change in strategic direction or a reorganization, it’s important to review policies to make sure they align with the changes.
 
Employment laws and regulations change constantly. It is important to keep the company’s policies up to date complying with regulations.
 
What to do after an incident or policy violation?
 
If an incident or policy violation happens it might be a good time to review the policy. Sometimes, incidents can indicate the need for change. Discuss with relevant people in the team to make sure the policy had the intended effect. Is it written and interpreted consistently? Check for any gaps in training or employee understanding of the policy. If there are gaps, this will help determine whether you need to revise the policy in question. Sometimes isolated incidents don’t need policy changes. Only retraining and employee communication should help in those cases.
 
Review your processes, forms and templates as well.
 
The same rule of review applies to your company’s internal processes, forms, and templates. A change in policy may trigger a change in the associated processes and documents used.
 
If there are no changes in the policies, it is still important to review your processes to make sure those are cost and time-efficient. On many occasions, we find redundant steps in a process. Cut the unnecessary steps which could save you time and effort.
 
It is also important to check all associated documents to see if those are aligning with the policies and processes. Keep your forms and templates simple. Do not ask for information that is not required or is available through other sources. If a process is too complex it may not be sustainable. If you want the processes to be followed by everyone, it is crucial to make them simple and easy to follow.

If you need help with your policies and processes, please contact us for a free consultation.