How to Write Policies and Procedures, Part 2: Humans Who Are Resources
Now that you’ve identified your project scope and goals, who should you involve? It’s best to start with a small team, but multiple viewpoints can create the best end result. It’s imperative that you involve the right people at the right time. If you’re too early or too late, you might run into avoidable issues, such as eleventh-hour budget concerns or the need to reengage leadership when your attorney tells you a policy needs to be modified.
Save everyone, especially yourself, the hassle by thinking proactively. Want to make that simple?
Adulthood: When worksheets became fun again.
Here are some teams to involve and why:
- Leadership: As discussed in Part 1, leadership should be enlisted early in your handbook project. Consider things like budget approval, defining objectives, and setting a launch date that meshes with other company initiatives. You’ll also want to gauge leadership’s ideal level of involvement. For example, should they only be included on major policy changes, or are your leaders eager to rework company culture content? (*humblebrag* Check out our other eBook: How to Write a Culture-First Employee Handbook.)
- HR: This seems like a no-brainer, but make sure to think about your team’s role. Determine a project owner so there’s no confusion about who’s leading and who’s supporting. Also, think about your own internal budget, as you may need to spend money on software or outside legal counsel. HR will be responsible for auditing existing benefits, policies, and procedures to determine what’s missing. Consider any recent employment law changes that might impact your project. By answering these questions preemptively, you’ll be able to structure a timeline that makes sense.
- IT: Early on, determine how your policies and procedures will be distributed: via print, email/PDF, or software (:cough: Blissbook :cough:). Also, how will employees access content through the chosen medium? IT can help decide the best way to collect and store employee acknowledgements. Also, with help from IT, you can define the process for future updates so you build a sustainable process.
- Legal: Engage your legal team early to identify the handbook areas that require the most legal attention; this can prevent a late stage rewriting frenzy. If you’re using software to distribute your new handbook, your legal team can evaluate the software from a legal/compliance perspective and decipher the terms of a Master Services Agreement (MSA).
- Marketing / Communications: Make sure marketing / communications is aware of your project from the beginning. If your handbook will be distributed via print or PDF, work together to determine the design timeline and how future updates will be handled. Marketing can provide branding assets and maybe even a copywriter / editor who can make your policies conversational. Last, but certainly not least, marketing can help devise a launch and distribution strategy that corresponds with other company communications.
Speaking of launch and distribution, don’t forget to develop your communications strategy.