What To Know About Changing Company Policies and Procedures
In a lot of companies, there’s the tendency to feel like if it’s not broken, then don’t fix it. This is particularly true in long-standing and very traditional companies, which seem reluctant to implement change at any level, but sometimes change is essential, particularly regarding company policies and procedures.
Changing policies and procedures can make for a more efficient, productive workplace in many cases. It’s important to regularly keep an eye on current policies and procedures and make sure they’re still what’s best for your company, and if you do spot a change is necessary, how do you effectively implement it?
A lot of companies may feel like changes are necessary for how they do things, but they’re hesitant to introduce them because they don’t know how to do it. It can be tough, particularly in very large, multinational corporations, to enact policy and procedural changes just because even communicating those changes can be a challenge.
That’s why, whenever possible it can be a good idea to pair these changes with technology.
A good example of this is expense management software. A lot of companies have put the focus in recent years on being more efficient with their expense management, but trying to enforce these changes is tough, to say the least. With expense management software, companies can create rules engines and technologically-driven approvals processes that can be applied uniformly even across a really large company.
While technology can play an integral role in policy change, it’s not the only piece of the puzzle. Good communication is also essential.
You want to make sure that even small policy changes are communicated to all employees, and you should have them officially acknowledge they’ve received this communication.
If the changes are a complete overhaul or are somewhat complex, employees may require training.
You should also be prepared not just to communicate that a policy change is occurring, but you should be willing to outline why it’s needed and what the motivation behind the change is. Some employees may be resistant to change, so when you’re unveiling new policies, you may have to act as somewhat of a sales person.
Update Policies Everywhere
It’s important to ensure policies are standard everywhere in your organization. For example, make sure your website, employee handbook and other written materials all reflect the same information.
When you’re training and onboarding new employees, you want to make sure they’re receiving exactly the same information as your veteran employees.
Finally, even before you introduce a policy change, you need to think about how your employees are going to feel, and the potential it has to influence your employer brand. With social media, employees who are unhappy may air their grievances publicly, and if your policy change is ill-advised or isn’t well thought out, it can be problematic for your employer brand and public perception. If you’re concerned about a controversial change, consider asking for employee input before implementing it. It’s’ better to take more time at the backend than to have problems when something new is introduced.