What are Policies and Procedures?

Definition: Policies and Procedures are a set of rules and methods designed and communicated to structure certain processes within an organization. This term embraces the set of instructions given to employees from general guidelines to specific steps applicable to job positions.

What Does Policies and Procedures Mean?

Definition and communication of policies and procedures are required to some extent at all organizations. Policies are general principles aligned with the company’s mission that top executives design as guidelines for all employees when making decisions to develop their daily tasks. Policies might exist in different organizational areas and they touch various topics, depending of what matter most to company’s management.

For example, a company could have a procurement policy that defines that the Purchasing Department must have at least two tested and approved suppliers for every material used in production. Procedures are more specific and detailed rules, commonly expressed as methods or steps to do a particular activity.

For example, there might be a purchase requirement procedure. Policies and procedures have to be coherent between each other and share a strategic goal. They support standardization through best practices and make communication of instructions, as well as training, more efficient and comprehensive.

Policies and procedures must be documented after approval and widely available to have real positive impact.

Example

Tyson & James is a firm growing rapidly in the service industry. They started operations two years ago and now they have more than 100 employees. With this size, it is becoming more difficult to maintain the high customer service standards that made the company successful on the first place.

Previously, it was easier to supervise employees and train them closely but now this is an extremely difficult task. A consultant recommended the creation of policies and procedures. They began with policies related to customer service and procedures to solve client’s complains. Then the work expanded toward other areas such as finance and purchases. This implementation of policies and procedures was successful and the company could improve its performance

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