Organizational Policies and Procedures – What You Need to Know

Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and dont interfere as long as the policy youve decided upon is being carried out. (R. Reagan)

Policies and Procedures are two words frequently heard in the business world and there is often confusion between the two concepts.

What is an Organizational Policy?

A Policy defines an outcome; it is a premeditated rule set by a business to guide organizational direction, employees and business decisions, and to control, direct and control actions and conduct. Policies can range from a general philosophy to a specific rule. They are the direct connection between a companys Vision and its daily operations and the underpinnings to a companys culture.

What is an Organizational Procedure?

A procedure is a method to an end. Procedures are step by step instructions, assigning an exact ordern of action. A procedure explains how to and who (which position) will implement the policy. Procedures are specific, factual and succinct. They may include timelines, specific forms to be used and template forms. Procedures assist in eliminating shared misunderstandings which can consequence in costly mistakes.

What is the difference?

Together Policies and Procedures empower a course of action by providing clear and concise direction necessary for consistent operation. The basic differences are outlined below:

– General in character
– clarify company rules
– Explain why rules exist
– Explain when the rule applies
– Describe to whom (what position) it applies
– Explain how it is enforced
– Describe consequences
– Provide guidance for managerial thought and action
– Flexible – allows for discretion

– clarify specific and different actions
– Explain when to take actions
– Describe emergency procedures
– Include warnings and careful
– Give examples
– Show how to complete a specific form
– assign how to carry out the action by step by step instruction
– Less flexible – concise and exact ordern of activities

Why does a company need Organizational Policies?

Policies and Procedures (P&Ps) are basic when a company requires consistency in its daily operations. They provide clarity and direction re: accountability. P&Ps assist companies in meeting legal requirements set out by the Employment Standards Act, the Human Rights Code, the Occupational Health and Safety Act and numerous other compliance requirements.

A properly written policy and/or procedure allows employees to understand their roles and level of responsibility and conduct their job by making decisions within predefined boundaries. By implementing P&Ps, management can provide guidance to employees without needing to micromanage, freeing managers to focus on strategic thought.

P&Ps allow the workforce to not only understand the accountabilities and responsibilities of their own position, but also that of their co-workers, which can foster a cooperative work ecosystem.

How big should a company be to consider implementing Policies and Procedures?

With as few as six employees there will be recurring issues. Productivity and efficiencies both from a legal and operational standpoint can be attained by the implementation of P&Ps.

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