We’ve all heard the saying work smarter, not harder, and one of the best things you can do when it comes to updating HR policies and procedures is to follow this simple advice. Setting aside time regularly to review your existing policies and ensure they are still up-to-date with current legal standards can be time-consuming and often discouraging, especially if you try to tackle it all at once. This article explains how you can make updating HR policies and procedures an easy process that won’t seem overwhelming or create more work than necessary.
When Is Updating Policies And Procedures Needed?
There are many reasons why updating your company’s policies can be helpful. You may want to update your policies because you are adding a new process, updating information that needs to be changed, or just making sure the current policies accurately reflect your organization’s culture. While the reasons why you may want to update your policies and procedures, these are some of the most common reasons:
- Changes in Laws: A change in laws or regulations may mean that you need to edit your policies accordingly, which should be done as soon as possible.
- Organizational Changes: If your company has made any recent acquisitions or investments with other companies, you will need to review and revise these aspects of your company’s policies.
- Operational Changes: There could be some changes in operations that warrant changing one of the current policies- for example, if employees are now allowed to work remotely from home after submitting documentation for approval.
- Change in Leadership: Any time there is a change within the senior management team- such as an addition or departure- this will require some adjustment of personnel responsibilities and HR procedures, so keep tabs on these changes by reviewing all employee manuals regularly.
While these are some of the most common reasons for updating your policies and procedures, there may be other reasons you will encounter. Regardless of why you have to update your policies, these tips will make it easier.
Tip # 1: Schedule Regular Policy Reviews
Keeping up with any new developments in the world of employment can be time-consuming. Scheduling regular policy reviews for your company’s policies gives you the opportunity to revisit old policy guidelines and update them for current needs. These periodic reviews will help ensure that your company complies with changes in labor law, follows best practices, and maintains a good reputation. Schedule one each quarter or once a year, depending on how quickly your business is changing. The more often you review policies, the less time-consuming it will be when something changes.
Tip #2: Don’t Do It All At Once
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the thought of implementing a complete overhaul of your employee handbook, start with small changes. It’s hard enough being on top of everything as it is without tackling a project that could take weeks or months. There’s no need to try to do it all at once! Find a few policies that need to be changed, make a list, and then attack the problem one item at a time. The problem with making wholesale changes in one go is that you’ll have done much more work than needed for updating your handbook and missed out on opportunities for some less-time-consuming updates.
Tip #3: Embrace the Digital Age
A wave of technological innovation and advances in recent years has fundamentally changed the way we do everything from dating to shopping to banking. It’s no surprise that it’s also changed how we manage people and the work they do for us. The main advantage to using this technology is that employees can review policies and procedures virtually, so any updates are communicated quickly, easily, and affordably. Managing your company’s HR policies online also has other benefits: making updating policies easier, keeping everyone on the same page (including new hires), and saving time, money, and paper.
Tip #4: Communicate Changes to Stakeholders
Updating policies and procedures isn’t over once the updates have been made. When updating policies and procedures, it is vital to provide all employees with a clear and detailed understanding of any policy changes. Communicate any updates to policies and procedures to ensure that all employees are informed. In order to accomplish this, organizations need to be proactive about informing employees about new or updated policies in addition to providing them with a full copy of company policies and procedures on an annual basis.
Tip #5: Document Changes for Future Reference
Making things easier while updating policies and procedures doesn’t mean just making it easier THIS time; it also means making things easy for the future as well. Documenting changes made for future reference is key to following up on and updating any revisions made in your policy. This can be done by either inserting a revised version of the document with new updates or adding a new version file with only those updates relevant to it. Doing this ensures that both versions of the policy are preserved so they can be referenced as needed. This will also help with future revisions by allowing you to see past changes quickly and easily.
Let ComplianceBridge Make It Even Easier!
Updating your company’s policies and procedures can feel like a Herculean task when you go it alone. That’s why we don’t feel you should. At ComplianceBridge, we know that keeping your policies and procedures up to date is vital to ensuring your business runs smoothly. We also know that it can be made easier if it’s automated and streamlined, which is why we engineer software at ComplianceBridge.
With ComplianceBridge, you can manage your policies and procedures in an easy-to-use platform. ComplianceBridge is an engineered online solution that not only allows you to streamline policy creation, review, and approval, it provides your entire organization with a clear digital library of up-to-date policies and procedures. By empowering you with a range of capabilities, including access controls, automatic reminders, custom policy quiz creation, version management, and policy update notifications, our solution helps you achieve and maintain compliance.
Ready to see how ComplianceBridge software engineers can make updating your policies and procedures easier? Sign up for a free demo today!