What is policies and procedures?

A set of policies is a guiding principle used to lay guidance in an organization to reach its long-term goals and usually published in a booklet or any other form which is widely accessible in the organisation. Procedures are methods used to accomplish a day-to-day operation of the organizations.

Policies and procedures are step by step instructions to guide employees on the organisations viewpoints.

Policies and procedures are designed to influence and determine all major decisions, actions and all activities take place within the boundaries set by them. Procedures are the specific methods employed to express policies in action day-by-day operations of the organization. Together, policies and procedure ensure that a point of view held by the governing body of an organization is translated into steps that result in an outcome compatible with that view.

The policies & procedures include the following information:

  • They set expectations: Policies and procedures allow an employer to commit to writing the company’s values and mission. They also set standards of behaviour, conduct and performance for employees.
  • Keep management accountable: in addition to setting standards for employees, policies and procedure’s also set standards for managers as a business.
  • They allow you to have accepted method of dealing with complaints and misunderstanding in place to help avoid favouritism.
  • They help employees know what is expected from them with respect to standards of behaviour and performance.
  • Purpose: The purpose or objective of the policy is stated.
  • Discussion: The discussion sections provide background information, include definitions, responsibilities, controls, policies and working hours: should be stipulated for employees to know when they are expected to start working, when lunch breaks, tea breaks can be taken and when employees may go home.
  • Definition: The definitions section will help clarify the document and educate readers not familiar with industry specific terms.
  • Purpose and mission: All organizations have a purpose and a mission. Since policies and procedures ultimately support a mission, review your organizations mission statement, if available. Polices and Procedures should be reviewed at least once per year.
  • Scope– to who or what does the policy apply? For example, all employees, or all credit card payments.
  • Responsible Party– list unit, department, college or other pertinent area responsible for administering or enforcing policy
  • Procedure -includes the steps necessary to comply with the policy, with enough detail that end-users will readily understand how to comply with the policy mandates. Procedures should be consistent with the policy section.

Why is Policies & Procedures important for your company?

Policies reflect the rules governing the implementation of the organization processes. Procedures represent an implementation of policy and should develop over time as new tools emerge, new processes are designed, and the risks associated with an area changes in response to internal or external environmental changes.

Policies are important in a workplace as it helps reinforce and clarify the standards expected of employees and help employers manage staff more effectively as it defines what is acceptable and unacceptable in the workplace.

Contact WHM HR Support Services in Gauteng today to assist you with drafting policies and procedures for your HR Support services.