• Trish Hall

Policies & Procedures– why bother?

This blog is on Policies and Procedures. We'll look at what they are, why should you have them, what kinds there are, and how to socialise them.


Policies and Procedures are an essential part of any business. This is because they define the rules and expectations on detailed topics. Without them, there is a risk that staff are unclear on what the business wants and therefore there is a risk that they will make a mistake. With them, you can develop a system for setting your staff up for success by providing key information.


A good induction and orientation is the first place to provide this information and it’s the first place socialise your policy and procedures, but don’t let it end there. They should be discussed regularly (mention them in staff meetings &review them often) to avoid staff forgetting they exist and therefore aren’t aware of what’s in them.


What is a policy and what is a procedure?

A policy is a plan of action agreed or chosen by a political party, a business, etc. For example, “we have a no-smoking policy”.


You should state in your policy any key definitions and who the policy applies to.

Whereas, a procedure is a way of doing something, especially the usual or correct way. For example, the procedure for using the work car is to:

  • Give your line manager proof of your driver’s licence.

  • Book the company car using the whiteboard in reception – checking no one else is using it.

  • Accurately recording the mileage information using the book in the car.

  • Refuelling the car as needed – using the petrol card

  • Reporting any damage or issues as they arise.

Tip – your employment agreements should refer to company policies and procedures but should be separate to those terms and conditions. This way you can adjust your policy and procedure more freely.


What types should I have in my business?


There are endless types of policies and procedures available. You need to be strategic with the ones that are of relevance to your business, which could grow as the business evolves. As an idea, some policies and procedures to consider starting with include (this list is not exhaustive):

  • Leave

  • House Rules and Disciplinary Procedures

  • Health and Safety

  • Performance Appraisals (look out for my blog on this!) & Remuneration Reviews

  • Vehicle Use

  • Recruitment

  • Induction and Orientation

  • Complaints

  • Reimbursement & Expenses

  • Exiting Employment

  • Social Media & Internet Use

  • Receiving Gifts

  • Bullying & Harassment

What does socialising a policy mean?


It means not letting the dust settle on them! Specifically, it means ensuring that all staff know what is in your policy (& procedure) and any changes you want to make are put to your staff for feedback. Remembering, sometimes your staff will have key information that you haven’t thought of, so it’s good to seek their feedback to have a set of policies and procedures that are robust and cover your needs in detail.


I can hear your next question; how do you socialise a policy? Well, when staff join your company you should let them know what policies you have. During your team meetings ‘policy discussion’ could feature as a regular agenda item (either broadly speaking or pick a different policy each time you met).

In conclusion, if you are clear on what you require you give your staff a better chance of doing the right thing, performing well, and avoiding any frustration. Of course, there are more parts to building successful teams, this is just one of the areas to consider.

So, if you need support developing a policy and procedure for your staff, let me know.

In conclusion, if you are clear on what you require you give your staff a better chance of doing the right thing, performing well, and avoiding any frustration. Of course, there are more parts to building successful teams, this is just one of the areas to consider.

So, if you need support developing a policy and procedure for your staff, let me know.



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