Are Policies & Procedures really that important?

Here at Tact we get a lot of questions from business owners in regards to the necessity of a Policies and Procedures manual and we always reply back with an unequivocal YES! Read on to see why having that manual is so important to the growth and stability of your business.

Business resilience is an ability that an organization has to possess and adapt over time in order to continue to succeed and protect their employees, assets, and overall brand perception.  Brand value develops with time when a company has a solid structure that is organized and, above all else, consistent in its products and services.

Policies and procedures play a key role in ensuring consistency.  As a company grows and it is no longer the owner or a small team of people handling the organizations offerings, guiding principles and methods are important to ensure customer deliverables are kept consistent.  Policies help employees understand the organization’s expected behaviors and values, while procedures aid in reducing variation in output, be that services or products.

Employees are supported by company policies and procedures, which in turn save the company time and money.  Providing policies and procedures encourages employees to help themselves.  Employees can independently learn company expectations, responsibilities, and work processes without relying on someone else to teach them.  Time and money are two resources every business owner budgets, thus methods in place for new employees to hit the ground running on their own provide good value.

Disorganization, lack of precedence, errors negatively affecting clients and profits are all ways that a lack of structure will show up.  An employee encountering this disorder is more prone to find other employment.  In fact, 25% of new hires leave before the end of the first quarter because they didn’t understand what was expected of them.  Offering policies and procedures is a key part of onboarding which is central to retention and consequently, managing human resources.

Perhaps the most important reason to develop policies and procedures is to avoid legal woes.  Policies and procedures act as a rulebook for an organization.  Without these rules mistakes are more likely to be made, disagreements occur, and proper precedence is difficult to establish.   Missteps in the realm of privacy law, Alberta Employment Standards, Human Rights, and the like, can have a business owner facing legal liability and ultimately a costly loss.  Policies and procedures keep the organization in compliance with legislation and provide protection against employment claims.

Resilience is said to be the capacity to be strong under conditions of pressure and change.  In order for a business to be strong, it needs to have a solid foundation, an infrastructure to ensure sustainability.  Policies and procedures are a key part of that foundation.