Do you want to know the secret to long-term business success? Always being able to land on your feet, no matter what’s thrown at you. It’s a reality for your business that it exists in a world that continues to change and evolve—and that means you need to, as well, even down to your policies and procedures. But how do you make sure changes in company policy and procedures stick their landing?
When deliberating over making changes in company policy and procedures and how to implement them, here are some factors to consider.
- Identify a Need
First and foremost, you must remember that policies shouldn’t change for the sake of changing, but out of necessity, to meet the needs of the market, your organization, and your employees. The best way to know when any policies or procedures are in need of a change is simply by ensuring you’re regularly reviewing them.
In general, it’s good practice for companies to review policies on a regular basis to ensure they’re still effective and relevant. However, frequency of review depends on both the nature of the policy and the company’s needs. Some policies and procedures should be reviewed annually, while others may only necessitate review every few years.
Companies should always have processes in place to regularly review and update their policies to make sure they continue to meet the needs of the organization and its employees. And there’s that word again! ‘Need.’ Why might your organization see the need to make a change in policy and procedures?
Some reasons may include reactions to changes in laws and regulations, where the company may need to update policies to ensure compliance. Similarly, changes in how your organization runs, or changes in the industry it occupies, might call for an update of hiring or retention policies to stay competitive in a changing landscape. Alternatively, changes in company policy and procedures may stem from shifting needs and expectations of an organization’s employees, or due to employee input. Transition from an in-office or hybrid work model to a fully remote model is a perfect example.
- Communicate with Stakeholders
So, let’s say your organization has identified a reason a policy or procedure needs to change. What comes next? Best practice is to consult the people within and without your organization who will be affected by these changes. Depending on the nature of the policy in question and the proposed change, it may be necessary to contact anyone from employees and management to human resources and industry experts as needed. It’s also never a bad idea to seek legal counsel on proposed changes.
Make the Change
Has your organization identified the need for change? Have you made the necessary consultations before making that change? Great! Now the company should be free and clear to draft the revised policy. This may involve reviewing and updating the language in the existing policy, or possibly creating a new policy entirely from scratch.
The revised policy, once it’s been drafted, should be reviewed and approved by all appropriate parties within the organization, such as senior management and/or the board of directors. Reviewers of an updated policy should check the revised policies and procedures for focus, organization, and clear, concise language.
- Ensure Employees Know About the Changes
After the revised policy has been approved by relevant stakeholders and reviewers, it’s time to roll it out! You’ll need to determine the best method for distribution, so that all relevant employees receive this vital info. Depending on the organization, that might mean anything from an email to an in-person meeting.
When distributing a revised or rewritten policy, it’s important to clearly communicate any and all changes to all employees. This may include everything from timed reminders to read and acknowledge the new policy, to quizzes to ensure your employees read and understood the revised policy.
- Get Employee Buy-in
Once the revised policy has been communicated to policies, and any relevant training has been provided, it’s important to ensure that the revised policy and procedures are consistently enforced and followed by all employees. The best way to ensure compliance with changes in company policy and procedures is to ensure that your employees believe in both the policy itself and the reasoning behind the change or revision.
If you skipped the important steps of sufficiently educating employees on why changes were being made, and confirming that they actually comprehended the new guidelines, it could be difficult to maintain consistent compliance with revised or rewritten policies and procedures. This could end up costing your organization time and money. Who wants that?
Make Changes in Company Policy and Procedures Stick with ComplianceBridge
Looking to implement changes in company policy and procedures within your organization? Look no further than ComplianceBridge for help managing new and revised policies throughout every step of the process.
ComplianceBridge’s automated workflows let you streamline policy creation, revision, distribution, and reporting. We also offer expiration dates, built-in review dates, and reminders, to ensure that no changes go missed or forgotten. All current policies can be saved in a centralized library, with the most recent version shown by default, so that anyone who needs to access updated policies and procedures can. Whenever the time comes to retire an outdated version or policy, ComplianceBridge lets you indefinitely store it in a lifetime archive.
Our software also makes distribution and implementation of changes in company policy and procedures automated and easy, with ways to track employee acknowledgement, create comprehension tests, and schedule auto-review dates.
Contact ComplianceBridge for a free demo today!
Watch a 2 Minute Demo of ComplianceBridge
Find out more about ComplianceBridge’s Policy & Procedure Software, as well as its Risk Management Software by watching a two-minute demo.Watch Demo Now