Your organization’s procedures are the backbone of its day-to-day operations. These guidelines dictate a baseline for what’s expected of its employees, supervisors, and management, helping to standardize activities, reduce confusion and misunderstandings about how to proceed, streamline training, and much more. Essentially, they ensure a company continues to run like a well-oiled machine regardless of who is working there at the time.
If your company’s procedures are outdated or missing key information, however, this leaves holes in company processes that could lead to mistakes, and these mistakes could reach far and wide within your business. What if your company handbook is unclear on the new procedure for requesting PTO? That could lead to an onslaught of incorrectly filed time off requests from misinformed employees, and a lot of hassle and headache to fill the time you could otherwise spend running your business.
For the sake of you, your company, and the people you employ, you always want to ensure that any procedures used within your organization are clear, accurate, and up to date. By following these five steps for implementing a procedure review process, you’ll safeguard yourself from poor procedures.
The Five Steps of Implementing Your Procedure Review Process
1. Set Clear Goals and Objectives
Before you do anything else, make sure to clearly outline goals and objectives for what you’re hoping to accomplish with your procedure review process. This may seem like an unnecessary or obvious step, but by explicitly defining what you want to achieve with this process, you’re more likely to keep it on track.
What needs within your company are you hoping to meet or address with the procedure review process? Are you seeking to create a new procedure to help clarify company guidelines for employees, or are you trying to update an existing procedure that doesn’t adequately meet your business’s standards? The procedure review process is, in itself, its own procedure. And, like any other procedure, you need to define its purpose and desired outcome before you can accomplish anything else.
2. Identify the Right Stakeholders
No man is an island! Before you start making serious changes to company procedures, you need to seek input from people who will be impacted by these changes. So your second step, after you’ve decided what you want from the process, your next step for procedure review is to identify and involve all relevant stakeholders within your company.
Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish with this round of procedure review, ‘relevant stakeholders’ could apply to anyone from members of management, to employees who will be most directly affected by the changes you intend to make. It’s also never a bad idea to consult with legal, human resources, finance, and administration experts as needed.
Including others in the decision-making process when appropriate ensures that people impacted by the changes you intend to make will be given a voice, and give them a sense of ownership over those changes, increasing the likelihood of compliance once those changes are implemented in the future.
3. Create a Timeline and Plan
Now, it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty. Create a realistic timeline for implementing the changes that will come from your procedure review process, and a plan to make sure that this timeline is followed. This is where you consider factors like how often procedures will need to be reviewed once they’ve been created. Once they’ve been created, what is the criteria by which new or updated procedures will be evaluated? Referring to the goals and objectives set in the first step will help you address this. Ultimately, you also want a clear and actionable idea of how new procedures will be implemented within your organization.
4. Thoroughly Review Current Procedures
When implementing the procedure review process, conducting a wholesale review of all of your company’s current procedures is a vital step. This may seem like a big task, but closely examining company procedures as they already exist will give you a helpful framework for any changes, updates, or completely new procedures you need to make.
This step will also aid you in understanding how often you need to conduct the procedure review process going forward. If your company’s guidelines are, at a glance, overly outdated or no longer relevant to company operations, then you know that the current rate at which your organization reviews procedures isn’t high enough.
5. Track Changes
Once you start making changes, you’ll want to keep track of the changes you make. Tracking revisions and updates you make to procedures will help you understand why those changes were made in the first place. This step will also help you refer back to previous iterations of a procedure, when necessary, to understand why or how something was done in the past. Having a record of how your procedures have changed and evolved over time will also be helpful in the future, when your new procedures need to be updated and the process begins anew.
Simplify Your Procedure Review Process With ComplianceBridge
These steps should help you conduct a productive and efficient review of your company’s procedures, but having the right tools will always help the process immensely. ComplianceBridge was created with your policy and procedure review process in mind. Our software configures automated workflows for all necessary stages of review and approval, helping to end backlogs and bottlenecks in the process before they happen.
Additionally, our platform allows everyone to comment on and review the same version of a policy or procedure, avoiding issues like having to juggle multiple documents or wade through endless email threads. Our notification system also ensures that everyone involved in the process stays informed when changes are made, and automated reminders help keep members of the review process from missing their opportunity to contribute. Plus, all of this activity is logged in our system, so you don’t have to keep track of it yourself.
Once company procedures have been reviewed and approved, use ComplianceBridge to publish and share them with one click. Post-approval, ComplianceBridge is a vital resource too, giving you the option of tracking employee acknowledgement and creating custom quizzes to test comprehension.
If you’re ready for your organization to embark on a more efficient, streamlined, and productive procedure review process, contact ComplianceBridge today for a free demo!