How to Write a Policy Manual
Within How to Write a Policy Manual articles we should know and learn everything about Policy Manual and why we need it.
- Chapter 1: Why Develop a Policy Manual
- Chapter 2: Getting Started
- Chapter 3: Writing Policies and the Approval Process
- Chapter 4: Distributing New Policies
Today we will start with our chapter one:
Why Develop a Policy Manual
Policy manuals are developed to help staff and management teams run the organization. In best use situations, policies play a strategic role in an organization.
They are developed in light of the mission and objectives of the company and they become the media by which management’s plans, rules, intents, and business processes become documented and communicated to all staff.
Carefully drafted and standardized policies and procedures save the company countless hours of management time. The consistent use and interpretation of such policies, in an evenhanded and fair manner, reduces management’s concern about legal issues becoming legal problems.
There is more about the legal aspects of policy later in this section.
Policy manuals and their close relative the employee handbook should be an important part of the operation. They should be the first thing given to a new employee (either in hard copy of an electronic version).
They should also be easily accessible in their most up-to-date version.
Hence it is extremely important that an organization’s policies be a “living document” prepared and saved in Microsoft Word and easily exported into portable versions (like PDF) and made available over the company network.
How to Write a Policy Manual? at the beginning Consider the benefits of written policies; a set of written guidelines for human resource decisions. Better yet, think about the benefits of the process of developing policies.
The process your company management team undergoes when comparing the policy alternatives, understanding their importance, and evaluating your company’s current practices will help you to develop your company’s guidelines and procedures that will make your organization a better run entity.
Consider the benefits of better communication within your organization. A policy manual is a means of communication with employees; it is first a way to communicate to employees the management rules and guidelines of the organization. Employees want and need that type of guidance in black and white.
In addition, policies help to organize and announce management’s plans for growth, and they communicate the company’s investment in its employees by explaining employee benefits and workplace issues.
As a company’s policies are developed they become a framework for consistency and fairness. Polices define management’s standards for making decisions on various personnel and organizational issues.
Clearly defined procedures and standards, spawned from polices that are well thought out, express the company’s intent to make consistent and evenhanded decisions.
Not enough can be said about the value that comes from policy creation. It is true that policy can help an organization run at its most efficient and effective level.
That alone may bring value through cost savings and additional revenue. However, if done correctly, policies can bring more value by accurately reflecting the company’s philosophy of business and employee relations as they demonstrate your creativity in solving policy issues, the competitive position of the company in providing a variety of employee benefits, and respect and appreciation for human resource management.
This type of message can go a long way towards promoting staff loyalty and everyone knows that staff longevity is a valuable asset.
There is also a legal aspect of policies. They are a means to protect the legal interests of a company. The company’s policies and procedures in many ways define the rights and obligations of the employee and the company. The policy manual is an expression of the rules governing the employment relationship.
Today, more than ever, a company must protect its rights within that relationship by adopting policies that are fair to both sides, clearly stated, and legally permissible.
With regards to the legal aspects of policy creation there is one important caution. If your company’s employees are represented by a labor union, any collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between you and the union will, in effect, serve as a policy manual with respect to employee issues covered by the CBA.
In this case, you may utilize a policy manual that covers non-union employees. A CBA may also limit your ability to modify your policy manual at will, requiring instead negotiation of matters covered by the CBA.
Source: OfficeReady Policy Manual