I am a man on a mission. Make that a business on a mission – to completely refocus organizations on how they approach policy management and communication. To take business to the new frontier, to boldly go . . . You get the picture.
Policies are in a complete and disappointing disarray. In my training and workshops I have found bright spots. There are organizations that are developing a consistent enterprise-wide approach to writing, communicating, and managing policies and procedures across the organization – supported by a centralized system to manage the policy life-cycle.
However, most organizations are a mess:
- Policies are scattered, written in varying language styles with inconsistent use of definitions and terms.
- Often out of date (I have seen policies of organizations that have not been reviewed in a decade).
- To make matters worse – they are often scattered across different internal websites and document systems.
What are organizations thinking?
Policies define and articulate the corporate culture. They set expectations and boundaries for what is acceptable and unacceptable. They also can establish a legal duty of care for the organization.
Enough of that – I have written plenty on this issue. Today I want to bring it to a new level. Not only are businesses failing in consistent and effective policy management, they are also behind the times in communication.
To the point: How do you manage and communicate policies in a YouTube generation?
In my training and advisory I am encountering organization after organization stating that the new generation of workers are demanding video. They do not read policies. Do not get me wrong – the written policy will always be critical as it defines what is allowed and disallowed to the ‘letter’ and is critical. The issue is how do we communicate to a generation of workers what expectations and boundaries are when they have been raised on video?
The answer is we need to take policy management systems to a new level:
- Any employee (across geographies, educational levels, and disabilities) should be able to log into a centralized policy platform and be able to find all of the policies and procedures that relate to their role in the organization.
- These policies should be written clearly in a consistent template and style that reflects the culture and tone of the organization.
- These policies are to be written in a way that the average reader can understand.
- Any tasks for the acceptance and attestation to policies should be clearly communicated and easily accomplished.
- It should be apparent how to ask for help and clarification on the policy by having a phone number or link to ask questions.
- Finally, and to the point, many policies (but not necessarily all) should have a video component in which the policy is explained to the individual.
This video component should be integrated into the policy management system – not just a link to some other systems. I firmly believe the value and ease of use is realized when the written policy and the video training on the policy are in the same integrated interface.
This is what I call Next Generation Policy and Procedure Management.
What are your thoughts and experiences on managing policies and procedures?
Corporate Integrity is also delivering a full-day workshop on this topic:
Chicago, IL, USA – Effective Policy Management & Communication
Date: August 23, 2010 – 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM (PT)
I would love to hear your thoughts on the topic of Policy Communication in a YouTube Generation. Please feel free to comment or send me an e-mail.