What should you pay attention to when drawing up regulations for employees? And how to ensure their implementation?
A well-written document that regulates the activities of a company is a powerful tool. Such documents are called “politicians”. In essence, a policy is any document that remains relatively unchanged for a long time: pricing rules, customer relations technologies, technology documents, and much more.
There are certain points in the policy development activity, using which you can significantly improve the quality of their application and avoid the most common mistakes. Many firms like Hoja have done it beautifully to ensure that their business is on the right path.
Top managers have to develop or approve a wide variety of policies. An experienced leader knows that he will either take the time and describe a process well, or he will have to explain the same thing to employees over and over again, or he will have to issue orders over and over again on the same topic. If there is no policy establishing a discount system, you will have to manually approve discounts every day.
The first mistake
Is to write politicians in too scientific language. We are not defending a diploma, where we need to demonstrate the “scientific nature” of some idea. After all, we develop policies for employees with a very different level of education, therefore, the simpler they are written, the easier it will be to understand, and the better the result will be.
Once I was approached by the head of a fairly large manufacturing enterprise with a question of whether it is possible to actually make the regulations on the quality management system ISO 9001: 2008 work. In studying these regulations, I found that they were, in fact, quite simple, but at the same time terribly difficult to set out. Some consultants did a great job. To get through all this, I myself had to spend time clarifying the terminology, using special dictionaries. I do not believe that the employees of this enterprise will be so persistent in understanding these regulations. Therefore, in order for the regulations to really work, they will have to be translated into a language that employees understand.
Unfortunately, the overall literacy level of people who come to work in business is falling every year. If you don’t want to spend your entire life explaining policies, write them in as simple language as possible without losing their meaning. The simpler they will be, the easier it will be to train staff, the better the results. When you implement some kind of policy, you should not have a goal to impress people with a scientific approach or erudition. In this case, there is only one goal – to quickly and accurately convey to employees the rules, due to the implementation of which the work efficiency will increase.
The second mistake
In the development of policies is not to indicate directly why this policy was drawn up at all and why it is necessary to act exactly as described. In other words, the policy does not describe what, in fact, is the “rake” that the company has stepped on or maybe stepping on. For some reason, some managers believe that there is no need to explain to employees the motives for creating rules, it is enough to indicate the rule itself. Many people think that the description in the policy of mistakes that served as the reason for its drafting worsens the company’s image in the eyes of employees. This is a fatal mistake because a person will not take any rule seriously if he does not understand the reason why it was established.
Take, for example, work schedule policy. Usually, it describes when working hours start and end, what are the breaks, what is the punishment for being late, etc. At the same time, as a rule, the majority of employees without this policy of the company comply with the work schedule and are not late. Having received such a document for study, most of them will think that no one really needs it, because they themselves come on time. It is unrealistic for them that the company has any problems with delays, and even a separate delay of one of the employees can cost it quite dearly. They will not understand and respect this policy and this will affect their attitude towards other company regulations.
The attitude will be different if the policy itself describes well what problems the delay of at least one employee causes, how even a slight delay causes disruptions in business processes, how much it costs the company, etc. As a rule, it makes sense to even give examples of real-life cases so that employees can treat the established rules with greater interest and respect.
The third mistake
In policymaking is listing what should not be done instead of describing what should be done. You can endlessly describe all kinds of employee mistakes – from common to incredible, but this will not give the employee an understanding of how to act correctly.
Let’s take a look at, for example, an appearance policy regarding employee makeup. If you try to describe what kind of makeup shouldn’t be used in the workplace, at first you will have difficulties in the policy development process – the range of possible mistakes is almost endless. Then you have to spend a lot of time settling employee grievances that you are restricting their freedom of expression.
It is much easier to describe how an ideal business makeup should look and what impression it should produce, and in addition to this description, it is worth giving examples of common mistakes. This is how to describe in a policy who should not be given discounts and in what cases. It is easier to write exactly in what cases, to whom, and what amount of the discount should be provided.
You can check the quality of your company’s policies by asking three questions about each of them.
- Will employees understand why this policy is needed at all, what problems it should solve or prevent?
- Is it written simply enough, can you describe it even more simply?
- Is it clear from this document, without additional clarification, exactly how the employee should act?
If the policy fails on even one of these points, there is room for improvement. This means that your business can become more efficient – do not miss this opportunity.