Updating policies and procedures

Do you know what is worse than not having a policy and procedure manual?It is having an out-of-date policy and procedure manual.A policy is essentially a written objective or guidebook that designates how to handle various workplace scenarios, and a procedure outlines what steps to take to achieve the policy.

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Your staff should be advised why it was created, what the purpose is and how the document will be used in the company.Mark Twain said “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter – ‘tis the difference between the lightning- bug and the lightning.” In business, the difference between the almost right word and the right word can mean a lawsuit or a boycott. Make sure it clearly states your policies and update it every year. First, let’s examine why you need one in the first place.For example, when two Whole Foods employees in Albuquerque, New Mexico, complained that they had been suspended briefly for speaking Spanish at work, groups like the New Mexico League of United Latin American Citizens threatened to boycott the company’s stores. A company handbook is like having a rulebook for sports.This also applies when updates to policies are being made.We also advise incorporating employee feedback, opinions and ideas about what to include in the document, preferably prior to its creation.Though some federal regulations – such as Title VII and the Americans with Disabilities Act – don’t go into effect until you have 15 employees or more, you can be sued for many other issues at any size.

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