The Purpose of Policies and Procedures
Policy is a planned system of rules to guide activities and attain rational results. A policy is an officially adopted statement of purpose and is typically implemented as a written process or procedural guideline. Generally, policies are normally adopted by a governing body inside an organization. Policies can also be developed by the employees themselves through a process of participatory decision making.
Policy development plays an important role in the organization and its functioning. It facilitates decision making, facilitates communication between people, and facilitates accountability. Policy development starts with a strategic vision statement or goal for the company and involves building strategies that will meet this vision. Policy development procedures involve gathering information on the objectives, principles, practices, values, structure, and methods that the organization possesses. The next step entails defining the procedures needed to implement policies, reviewing existing policies, designing new policies, understanding the need for policy and designing appropriate procedures to implement them.
Policy development thus involves defining, conceptualizing, documenting, and ultimately implementing policies. It also involves the maintenance of a company culture which is inclusive of values, objectives, methods, and practices. Policy development helps in creating and maintaining a positive image and therefore plays a key role in corporate branding. Mature policies help in achieving company objectives. Mature policies are designed in such a way that they help in achieving specific business goals. Such a policy reflects what is the actual aim of the company.
Policy and procedure development involves both internal and external processes. It has been found that both internal and external processes help in designing appropriate and productive mature policies. Internal processes include those that deal with processes, people, technology, and other aspects within the organization. On the other hand, external procedures relate to those procedures that are carried out outside the boundaries of an organization, such as in external public negotiations.
There are many factors that have a direct bearing on the success of a company in terms of developing policies and procedures. These factors include the size and nature of an organization, its internal structure, its culture, and its current affairs. All these factors help in determining the exact purpose of a policy and help in developing appropriate policies.
Policy and procedure development also involves ensuring that a policy reflects the legal requirements of an organization. This implies that a proper understanding of the legalities behind policies and their interpretation is necessary. Policy development also ensures that a policy reflects the overall objectives of an organization. Finally, it ensures that a policy helps in achieving goals and thus assists the organization in fulfilling various missions and responsibilities.