How to communicate policies

The importance of documenting a policy

How does anyone know about a policy?All organisations need to develop and communicate policies. In fact organisations are developing policies all the time but they might not know it. This is because decisions are being made all the time in regard to new situations, and often where there is no previous policy. Such decisions are made by people who have the appropriate authority and capacity such as managers, committee members, board members, the executive, etc.

When decisions are made about what actions must be taken in certain situations, it is necessary that they are:

Communicating policyThe process of writing down a new policy (documenting) is very necessary. If this does not occur, then there is likely to be confusion about the decision made, what was agreed and what actions should be taken.

At the very least the policy decisions should be noted in the minutes of meetings during which they were made. However it is very unlikely that members of the organisation, or customers, will ever read the minutes of meetings.

Therefore it is fundamentally necessary that the makers of the new policy ensure that it is put into writing and then find ways to communicate it to the anyone who needs to be aware.

Methods for communicating policies

When a policy is put into writing it can be communicated in a variety of ways including:

Benefit of Policy Manuals

It would be prudent for organisations to have a policy manual. This could be a ring binder that collects all policies together in one place.

Once a policy manual is in existence everyone has the chance to look up the policy on a particular matter and then follow the recommended course of action.

As a policy is amended, the policy manual must be updated.

 

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