SHILUVAHPolicies and Procedures:

Policies and procedures are an essential component of any organisation. Policies are important because they address pertinent issues, such as what constitutes acceptable behavior by employees. Procedures, on the other hand, clearly define a sequence of steps to be followed in a consistent manner, such as how the organization will respond to any policy violations.

What is a policy?

A policy is a pre-determined course of action, which is established to provide a guide towards accepted business strategies and objectives. It is a link between the organisations vision and day-to-day operations. Policies identify key activities and provide a general strategy to decision-maker on how to handle issues as they arise.


Are specific
Identify company rules
Explain why they exist
Explain when rules apply
Describe who it covers
Show how rules are enforced
Describe consequences

What is a procedure?

The ultimate goal of every procedure is to provide the reader with a clear and easily understood plan of action required to carry out or implement a policy. A well written procedure will also help eliminate common misunderstandings by identifying job responsibilities and boundaries for employees. Good procedures allow managers to control events in advance and prevent the organisation (and employees) from making costly mistakes.


Identify specific actions
Explain when to take action
Describe alternatives
Include warnings/cautions
Give examples

Policies and procedures are rendered useless if employers neglect to adhere to them or fail to effectively communicate them to employees. Utilizing both policies and procedures during decision-making ensures that employers are consistent in their decisions.

You need to clearly communicate your organisations policies and procedures and provide easy access to the policies and training. A communication procedure should always be in place to ensure employees aren’t left in the dark regarding policies. The most difficult part is for employees and employers to adhere to enforce the established policies and procedures.

Are your policies and procedures meeting your needs?

A few critical signs that your policies and procedures need to be reviewed and updated:

An increase in mistakes, high failure rates and costly issues
More staff questions on normal operations or a feeling of general confusion within the organisation
Employees demonstrating inconsistency in job performance and there may be an increase in the workforce stress levels
Increasing customer complaints

The benefits of policies and procedures:

Employees understand constraints of their job without the ‘trial and error’ approach as key points are visible well-written policies and procedures
Policies and procedures enable the workforce to clearly understand individual and team responsibilities, saving time and other resources. Everyone is working on the same page and there is a roadmap on how they should go about their tasks quickly and easily
Clearly written policies and procedures allow managers to exercise control and less focus on micro-management
They show that the ‘employer cares’ and the company wants its employees to be successful at their jobs
They provide legal protection of both employers and employees