So You’ve Created a policy – What’s Next?

Extend policy shelf life with these 10 tips

Nothing is more frustrating than spending time, energy and money in creating meaningful policies that fall flat. Between writing and researching to revisions, legal review processes and internal sign-off, creating just one policy is no easy feat. Creating a policy, however, no matter how much work is involved, doesn’t end after the final version is ready – that policy still needs to be heard.

Your employees are not going to know if a policy exists if they don’t hear about it, and this idea goes beyond storing the policy in an internal system and sending an alert email.

The help you need may be just down the hall from you — in the company’s marketing department. They know the best practices to put in place to get the right information to the right person at the right time. It’s time to leverage their knowledge and embed it into your compliance program.

Ear to the ground: listening to what industry is saying
Earlier this summer at our Minneapolis Compliance Tech Talk, an attendee told me she had over 600 policies to not only manage but update, distribute and measure. While this is an insurmountable challenge in and of itself, her role is only 10 percent focused on compliance with primary focus on overseeing legal.

Policies seem to be stuck in this purgatory of sorts that looks something like status quo, complacency, not enough time, limited resources or competing priorities and expectations.

By creating an effective campaign around every policy you create, they will lose the risk of falling flat and increase the likelihood of employee adoption and awareness.

10 Tips for Creating Effective Company Policies   

  1. Designate policy owners to avoid policy gaps.
  2. Link policies to company values and ethics.
  3. Maintain consistent policies across the entire organization.
  4. Generate policies with employee input.
  5. Integrate policies and training.
  6. Keep policies and protocols separate.
  7. Write policies that preserve management’s discretion.
  8. Preserve flexibility with disciplinary action.
  9. Track incidents back to policies.
  10. Review policies regularly.
Katie Smith, EVP, CCO
Katie Smith, EVP, CCO

“As an ethics and compliance professional with competing priorities, I appreciate the no-nonsense approach to the policy guidebook that easily lays out the nuts and bolts of designing and implementing an effective policy,” says Katie Smith, EVP and Chief Compliance Officer at Convercent. “Solid policies, coupled with one’s Code of Conduct, provide the foundation for the culture of a company and are the bedrock of a risk mitigation program.”

“Esprit de Corps! When you effectively communicate your policies to your employees you not only decrease organizational risk you also increase the bond

Stephanie Jenkins, Sr. Director, Product Marketing
Stephanie Jenkins, Sr. Director, Product Marketing

between you and your employees, says Stephanie Jenkins, Sr. Product Marketing Manager at Convercent and former in-house compliance in the retail and healthcare industries. “Employees will feel more productive, experience less frustration and help them better understand how various policies, procedure and guidelines impact them and their jobs.

Don’t let those policies fall flat. Extend their shelf life, and ultimately, increase their influence and impact on your organization. 

policy-ebookDownload this ebook to get more tips like this and more.