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Why do great policies and procedures matter?

Why do great policies and procedures matter?

Five tips for making them work for you

By Katrina Armstrong

Many of us love a good road trip. It’s great to have a destination in mind, but without a roadmap, a drivers’ licence, and safe mode of transport, you can easily find yourself off track. Great policies and procedures help you and your employees get safely and confidently to your chosen destination.

Great policies and procedures help organisations:

– ensure employees know exactly what work to do, when and how to do it, and to what standard

– show their customers that they are serious about providing quality services

– meet their legal obligations

Policies and procedures are not there to tick the ‘this will get you through the NDIS audit’ box. They are there to provide instructions and guidance to employees on how to deliver quality services. Otherwise it would be like driving down a country lane in the middle of the night without headlights. And no one wants that!

So, what five things can you do to ensure you have great policies and procedures that meet your business needs?

1) Make sure they are tailored to reflect your organisational values and are relevant to the specific services you provide, and the locations where you operate. As an example, there will be different requirements nationally and across different states and territories that you need to be across. A good example of this is mandatory reporting requirements if you are working with children.

Why does this matter? No one service is the same. Your organisation is unique – your policies and procedures should be too.

2) Make sure your policies and procedures are proportional to the size of your organisation and the complexity of services you are providing. This means if your organisation is small and you are generally delivering lower risk services, you don’t need a management system the same size and detail that would be expected of a large organisation who provides services to people with complex needs.

Why does this matter? You have what you need and nothing you don’t.

3) Ensure that the system is integrated and is as simple to use as possible. This means that your systems of work fit within a single overall management framework that includes clear responsibilities across the organisation. Policies and procedures don’t duplicate or clash with each other. Rather, they work in harmony to help you deliver great services.

Why does it matter? Your customers want services delivered to a high standard. Every. Single. Time.

4)  Proof-read your policies. Check for spelling and grammatical errors. Make sure that they are formatted consistently e.g. paragraphs and bullet points are in alignment.

Why does this matter? It’s great for your brand! It tells your customers and your employees that the little details matter as much as the big ones. This is an important way of building confidence and trust in your services.

5) Control your documents. This means that your documents are clearly labelled with version control. It gives confidence to your customers and employees that only the most current and relevant policies and procedures are being followed. Compliance requirements can and do change.

Why does this matter? controlling your documents can help to stay operationally on top of changes to government rules and regulations.

So, what’s the difference between policies and procedures?

– Policies set the principles that you use when making decisions. They also set your expectations of service to your customers and your employees.

– Procedures are the actions that need to be followed by you and your employees to you achieve your policy objectives.

For more great information click here.

If your business could benefit from clear policies and procedure, get in touch for a 15 minute, no-obligation, discussion on how we can help.