How do I start a Policy and Procedure Manual for my organisation?
Sometimes it can feel daunting trying to figure out where to start with creating policies and procedures in the workplace. However, creating a manual mostly is about formalising the way that you probably already do a job or task and if working with others is about coming to an agreed position on how things need to be done in your organisation.
Having a good list of policies and procedures is an important part of succession planning and articulating how and why things are done in your organisation.
This is intended as a series of starter-tips to help you get through this process.
Firstly, start with getting 10 Policies and Procedures done as a start and then aim to do a set number per week or month until you are done, so the overall task is not so daunting.
- Use the Contents Page Template by clicking here….
- Start by listing the different areas/departments of your organisation or use the ones provided as a starting point.
- Write a list of tasks, policies, procedures, jobs that are important parts of your work life completely separate to the Contents Page and just brain storm e.g.,:
- Daily Banking
- Opening the Building
- Booking Holidays
- Use of the bar/ serving alcohol at a function
- Venue hire discounts for local groups
- Once you have a big list of these tasks, then break them down into areas of operation and input them into the contents page (start from most important to have to less important).
- Use the Policy and Procedure Template by clicking here…. and follow the tips below for creating policies and procedures in the work-place.
- Work systematically through your newly created contents page in creating your policies and procedures and add in new ones as you think of them.
- Remember that this is a guide and seek professional help/ advice with regards to any items that have legislative, safety, industrial relations implications and ensure that all of your policies are endorsed by the most senior person in your organisation and/or your committee/board
What is the Difference Between a Policy and a Procedure?
Policies are clear, simple statements of how your organisation intends to conduct its services, actions or business. They provide a set of guiding principles to help with decision making. Policies don’t need to be long or complicated – a couple of sentences may be all you need for each policy area.
Procedures describe how each policy will be put into action in your organisation. Each procedure should outline:
- Who will do what
- What steps they need to take
- Which forms or documents to use.
Procedures might just be a few bullet points or instructions.
Policies and their accompanying procedures will vary between workplaces because they reflect the values, approaches and commitments of a specific organisation and its culture. But they share the same role in guiding your organisation.
Policy Writing Tips
- Policy Purpose: The purpose statement explains “why” the policy is being written and what it is trying to achieve in a succinct statement that is clear and easy to understand.
- Policy Overview: The policy statement should be a brief statement of “what” the policy is intended to accomplish. That is, the aim(s) of the policy and may provide a brief link to the procedure.
- Policies should be precise and easy to understand. Sometimes terms will need to be defined to clarify meaning.
- It is important that the policy if ratified by the relevant authority within you organisation and that the person who is responsible, the ‘Policy Owner’ is clearly identified.
- Policies and Procedure need to be reviewed regularly. It is recommended that a sub-committee or department head/person responsible review a set number or policies every 3-6 months and review them. This way the task of revision does not become too onerous.
Procedure Writing Tips
- The procedure is a step by step, ‘how to’ guide that explains how the policy is to be carried out, enacted and achieved.
- The procedure clearly articulates the steps to achieve the policy and who is responsible.
- Review the procedure is and ensure that it achieves the purpose and detail of the policy.