As your company grows and more employees are hired, you may discover that you need a more streamlined way to create, approve, disseminate, and enforce company policies and procedures. When you’re small, you can get away with having a basic policy and guidelines document that you hand out to new hires and have them sign. But when you’re responsible for dozens and maybe even hundreds of employees in multiple departments, policy management becomes mandatory. Here’s why policy management is something you can’t ignore as your company scales.
What Is Policy Management?
Before we get into why it matters, we need to define what policy management is. It’s more than just keeping all your company policies in one place so that employees know where to find them (although that’s a critical element of policy management). The term also refers to updating your policies and employee manuals so that they’re easily accessible and changeable (by authorized personnel only), creating a streamlined process of disseminating new or amended policies, and tracking employee acknowledgement of these policies.
One of the main reasons why policy management is so important is because of compliance. Companies that operate in high-risk industries like banking, construction, food safety, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, and others are required to establish specific policies that meet government regulations.
If your employees are unaware of certain policies or are deliberately not following them, your company is at risk. You can’t afford to have policies that get lost or aren’t read. Policy management is vital for these companies that don’t want to incur fines or other penalties as a result of not having a solid management system.
Decentralized Policy Makers
As companies become large, policies begin to be made by people all over the company. It’s too easy for these policies to get lost or not be disseminated to all appropriate employees. What happens when someone in one department creates a policy, but doesn’t let everyone know about it? Well, it certainly depends on what that policy is, but chances are high that it could impact the company’s reputation and bottom line. Policies all need to be funneled through a single portal, regardless of who creates the policy and who and what the policy is for.
Your company’s policies belong to the company, but hard-copy employee manuals and policy binders can be easily removed from the office and distributed to unauthorized people. Versions saved to desktops eventually are out-of-date. In this day and age, your information is valuable and your policies should be treated as high-value assets.
By storing them on a secure platform in the cloud, you’re making sure they stay where they should be, they are only accessed by those who need them, and that everyone is accessing the current version. Plus, you can track where the policies originate, who approved them, and who has read and acknowledged them, all from a single internet-enabled, secured device.
Policies are not static documents; they are living and changing entities that should be easily accessible and trackable. If your policies are not centralized or you’re having trouble keeping up with all the changes, it’s time to consider a policy management system before it’s too late.
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