Business Systems: Policy and Process are not dirty words

Processes. Policy… I know these words might make you yawn. But hear me out.

Policy and process are the backbone of any successful business. Regardless of the size of your business, developing formal policies and procedures helps to set out clear expectations and best practices for you and any other stakeholders. Their importance in terms of providing business clarity cannot be underplayed.

Still yawning? Essentially, business policy documents can help businesses run smoothly and are in place to prevent chaos and expensive mistakes! Now you’re listening right?!

 

What are policies and procedures? Are they different?

Policy: A policy document outlines the bigger picture: you can summarise all your goals, principles, and responsibilities within an organisation.

This document then offers guidance for decision making when it comes to operations, processes, and systems.

Processes: A process document outlines the steps required to achieve goals and a detailed explanation of HOW to do things.

Policies and procedures are the essential building blocks of business. Ultimately, it's about creating a set of shortcuts that will make sure everything still gets done right.

Benefits of good business systems

Processes add clarity

Processes add clarity and reduce the need to always be starting again. You can finally become that productive person you’ve always dreamt of being! Because you won’t be wasting time trying to remember how things are done!

Processes also help employees know when they are doing a good job. So if you employ staff or outsource to freelancers, your policies and procedures can help them gain a better level of understanding.

Easy to foster team engagement 

Another reason processes and policies are so beneficial, is that you can then foster a productive environment where everyone feels they are “part of a team” and feel safe that there is a defined way of doing things. You can use policies and procures to define your communications and optimise consistency and efficiency. Business policy documents

Improve training & compliance

You can also make any necessary training much easier and facilitate remote working. Think about how easy it is to share tasks, project goals, and strategic aims with a team member if it’s all recorded somewhere without you having to be present.

Not to mention you can mitigate risk and make it easier to show compliance with industry requirements. Use policy and process documents to demonstrate due diligence.

Manage reviews and assess expectations

Tracking the progress of the organisation and of individuals will be much quicker and easier if expectations are set out. Staff reviews - including assessing KPI’s – can be rolled out simply and quickly. Procedures can be a useful tool to measure an employee’s performance because you can determine if the process was followed appropriately.

Creates positive momentum

One builds off another which makes the network of your business a much stronger creation.

Both you and any other team members are now equipped to become more knowledgeable, thorough, and passionate.

So, how do you create effective policies and procedures? 

At InkBlotVA, we help businesses of all shapes and sizes to create and implement valuable policies and procedures.

Here is a quick rundown of how we do it:

  1. Start with the basics. It is tempting to try to jump straight into writing procedures. However, it helps to start with a brainstorm of the overarching aims and business goals.
  1. Identify who are you writing the business procedures manual for. Are they for your eyes only? Or will other team members also be needing them?
  1. List all the areas of business that require individual policies and procedures. Create a list of all the projects or areas of business that need clarity.
  1. Then break it all down, step by step: who is doing what? When? Where? How?
  1. Ask others to review. You might be too close – they may even have some new ideas for ways to do things better.
  1. Review regularly. Please make time to regularly revisit the policies and adjust accordingly. These are meant to be “working documents” and cannot just be left gathering dust or used as a coffee stand!

Need help? Contact InkBlotVA TODAY! We will help you identify, implement, and manage all your policies and procedures. Stop that overwhelm! Let us take care of it!

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