Establishing clear and consistent policies and procedures is a key factor for operating a successful organization. Policies and procedures may be used to communicate organizational performance standards, disclose mandatory expectations and prohibit adverse activities. They may also support compliance with applicable laws and regulations helping mitigate various risks. Adequately developed policies and procedures can provide many benefits to an organization including:
- Accountability – policies and procedures build an environment in which individuals are held accountable for adherence to internal and external standards;
- Training – new employees can quickly learn about how the organization operates, business practices and what’s expected of them by reviewing policies and procedures;
- Efficiency – when a new problem arises, time and effort may be saved if the issue can be handled successfully using an existing policy or procedure; and
- Consistency – established policies and procedures ensure that an organization’s way of doing business does not deteriorate over time and critical decision making processes remain consistent throughout the organization.
For many organizations, developing and updating policies and procedures is often a low priority due to lack of time or resources. You may be an organization with a need to build policies and procedures from scratch due to changes in your business or a newly enacted regulatory requirement. Or you may just need to update or enhance existing policies and procedures due to changes within your business environment. Either way, the Clark Schaefer Consulting team has the expertise and experience to assist you. Key steps in our methodology would generally include:
- Performing interviews with management and designated personnel to gain an understanding of the critical processes within the organization that will require the new policies/procedures, identifying the key individuals responsible for these processes; support systems; and common language and terms used.
- Reviewing existing policy/procedure manual(s) applicable and related documentation to identify key areas and topics that should be included within the policy and procedure manual(s). Related documentation may include federal regulations, state regulations, industry regulations, and existing organizational guidelines. Based upon the nature of the organization and its related industry requirements, identify areas for modification, addition or deletion.
- Developing the proposed policy and procedure manual(s) draft which would include language/layout structure, numbering schema, cross-referencing methodology between policies and procedures and supporting documentation requirements.
- Reviewing the proposed policy and procedure manual(s) with management to ensure that the prototypes achieve the organization’s overall business objectives and provide desired level of clarity.
- Revising documentation accordingly and often a walkthrough of the draft is performed prior to finalization to help ensure that these reflect fairly (and are worded clearly) what is required to comply with and perform the new policy/procedures.
- Providing final documentation and training as required helping to ensure that finalized policies and procedures formats are understood and established.