Vow to reduce the amount of time spent tracking down a policy, ensuring the version of the policy or procedure you find is the latest one, and invest in effective methods of distribution. It may seem like these tasks don’t require a lot of time on their own, but over long periods, the impact can be huge. The important takeaway here is to understand effective policy management does not have to be time consuming.
If your organization’s idea of collaboration is a long and continuous email thread with notes and comments, this year is the time to learn there is a better way. True collaboration allows specific users in the management chain to access a policy or procedure in the creation process only when they need to. Effective collaboration also allows policy decision makers to see previous edits and updates quickly and easily without hunting through a long chain of emails. Finally a good collaboration process makes it easy for the policy or procedure document to find its way to the next person whose approval is required.
Do policies and procedures across your organization speak the same language? Or are different departments duplicating effort by creating already-established policies from a blank document? Create pre-approved templates that make it easy for any policy creator across the organization to duplicate and modify a policy or procedure for their department. Being consistent in policy creation establishes and sustains the voice of the organization.
Whether or not an organization is being audited, organizations should make audit preparedness part of the everyday policy management process. Keep a record of every person who modifies a policy or procedure document. The record of each modification should include date and time, and first and last name of the person who made the modification. Ideally the record or audit trail would also include the drafting, reviewing and approving information of that policy.
Employees are more accountable when they not only have read and signed a policy, but have also acknowledged they understand what the policy means and how it will affect them. One way to improve acknowledgement is through policy questionnaires or quizzes. Quizzes provide an effective way to ensure a policy is clear and comprehensive. Quizzes also make it easier for an organization to hold employees accountable because they have evidence the employee not only read the policy in question, but understands the what the policy entails.
It is no question that sticking these 5 resolutions will improve your compliance and risk management efforts around policies and procedures. But how will you achieve these best practices for better policy and procedure management this year? Policy Management Software from ConvergePoint makes it easy to commit to reducing wasted time on everyday policy-related tasks, improving policy creator collaboration, streamlining policies across an organization with templates, preparing for audits all year-long, and increasing employee accountability. Learn more about our Policy Management Software now available on SharePoint On-Premise, SharePoint Online via Office 365 and as a Software-as-a-Service. Schedule a demo now.