What Are Policy and Procedure Templates?
Policy and procedure templates are documents that detail the way a company or organization should be run. They can be in the form of checklists, flowcharts, or templates for other policy documents.
One major goal of policy and procedure templates, a report from Harvard Business Review suggests improving efficiency in a business or organization by making sure all employees know what they need to do when carrying out their daily work. These templates are designed to make it easier to track and manage policies and procedures that are updated frequently or changed often.
This is important because tracking helps ensure consistency across departments and locations, which can help reduce errors and increase efficiency. For this reason, a procedure template must describe how policies should be implemented. Templates for procedures, on the other hand, should be performed by employees and describe who should perform specific activities and how to complete a task.
A policy sets the overall tone for your company, and a procedure describes the steps employees should take to enact that specific policy. By contrast, a process describes how procedures across the entire company align with one another in order to realize a product or service. Processes should also detail who is responsible, and ensure that the necessary tasks are completed properly and on time.
A software-based procedure template, on the other hand, is a form that has been pre-defined by the company or the manager to be used to help create or edit a procedure. It can contain information about the person who created it, what they are responsible for, how they should go about doing their job, and even what kind of language they should use in their procedures.
Using templates makes it easier to create new procedures, which means less time spent on repetitive tasks. In addition, if you have multiple people working on procedures at once, each person can work independently on their own portions of the project without interfering with one another’s work.
Most common examples of templates for policies and procedures include:
- Education Management Company Policy and Procedure Templates for principals and supervisors
- Company Policy and Procedure Templates for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
- Construction Policy and Procedure Manual Templates for contractors
In this article, you will learn:
What Are the Benefits of Policy and Procedure Templates?
Policy and Procedure Templates are beneficial because they allow workers to learn and retain vital tasks and volumes of information related to perfecting their job.
Here are the other benefits of using the best policy and procedure manual templates you can find in the market:
- They help solve urgent business problems quicker and error-free.
- They reduce the time and effort that would otherwise be spent on drafting a policy and procedure manual.
- They keep all policies and procedures in one place, which makes them easy to find.
- They boost employee work efficiency.
- They help in planning, organizing, and creating a formal structure for each project.
- They keep track of tasks and milestones, assign resources, set deadlines, and generate reports from any task or project within minutes using earned value analysis reports.
- They capture and store all important information about a task or project using a built-in CRM that allows you to easily track your progress.
- They show you how much work has been completed on each task so far compared to its budgeted cost at completion (BAC).
How Do You Write Effective Policy and Procedure Templates?
Policy and procedure manual templates can take a long time to develop and perfect, but you can expedite the experience by following a few developmental and structural steps in writing them.
Here are the major steps for writing effective policies and procedures:
Step 1: Prepare to Write
You can make your policy and procedure manual templates more efficient by treating the activity like a project and ensuring you get management support. That way, time and resources will be available to you. Because policies and procedures often involve legal and regulatory consequences, you also need to consider having documents reviewed by legal counsel.
Step 2: Have a Clear Understanding of What Your Company’s Policies Are
Having a vision for your company is vital to keeping the project focused. This vision helps you craft an appropriate template for your field or industry that will help you gain a better understanding of what content you need to add.
Step 3: Write Your Documents
To write your documents, start by reading current policies and procedures if any exist, and review any compliance or regulatory guidelines that apply. It’s essential to consult the people who will use the procedures and perform the work, so they understand the steps in a workflow, especially when creating procedures.
Similarly, consulting employees on the creation of documentation is one of the best methods for ensuring their interest in and use of procedures.
Step 4: Implement the Policies and Procedures
To encourage the success of a document, plan its implementation. Publish the document in one central location, such as on a company website, and employees should sign send alerts when they have read the document to verify retention.
Step 5: Create a Training Plan to Support the New Policies and Procedures
Then, establish a review cycle so that new regulations and practices can be incorporated into your documents to keep them relevant.
Tips for Making Your Policy and Procedure Templates Easily Executable
When you’re writing a policy or procedure template, you want to make sure it’s easy to read, understand and follow. Here are some tips for making your template as clear and helpful as possible:
1. Pick the Right Template
It’s important to choose a template that is specific to those fields. For example, if your company works in the finance industry and you need to create a policy that keeps track of all your employees’ expenses, then you should choose an appropriate template for your field or industry.
The same thing goes for quality and safety management. In this case, it’s important to choose a template that works best for your company.
2. Keep It Brief
If you can fit all of the information on one page, then it’s highly recommended. It’s easier on the reader’s eyes and your team will be able to find what they’re looking for faster. If you need more space than one page, use bullet points to break up long paragraphs without making the document look too complicated or intimidating to help new hires get started quicker.
Adding Headers is also ideal if you want to let readers know what type of content they’re about to read before they even start reading it so they can decide whether or not this document is relevant to them right away. They don’t need to scroll through everything before finding out what’s important to do in this task.
3. Track the System
For example, if you’re working in quality management and safety, there are several different types of templates available. However, choosing one that has been customized for your industry or field will ensure that it contains all the information you need for your policies and procedures.
4. Avoid Using Jargon
Use language and tone appropriate to your audience. For example, writing policy and procedure documents for a manufacturing company would have a different language than one for a retail company or an educational institution.
Use terms and definitions consistently throughout your document. This helps readers understand what each term means when they see it in multiple places throughout the document.
If there are any terms that are unique to your organization or industry, be sure that they’re defined at the beginning of the document so people don’t have to look up what they mean later on in the text if they don’t already know them.
It also helps to explain acronyms where appropriate, so readers aren’t left wondering what terms like “ISO 9001” mean when they see it again later on in an unrelated section of text.
5. Make the Tone Fit
Make sure the tone fits with the purpose of your policy or procedure. For example, if you’re writing policy and procedure documents on fire safety, you don’t need to use overly formal language.
You should also consider who will be reading it – if it’s someone who has never worked for your company before, then using plain language will help them understand what they need to do and why it is important.
Upgrade Outdated Policies and Procedures with Lumiform
Lumiform simplifies all the complex steps of optimizing policies and procedures templates by offering first-rate features that help you:
- Create policies and procedures with the world’s most intuitive inspection and audit app in the market.
- Execute powerful solutions and reports on your policies, procedures, and training 4x faster across various areas of your operations to see how your staff are performing.
- Identify and reduce errors before they occur by providing real-time feedback about the status of each item on your list.
- Track progress on projects by writing policy and procedure documents from Lumiform templates that address your most urgent business pain points.
- Manage your quality management system using Lumiform’s methodologies that are already trusted by leading companies in all industries.
- Simplify the work of people who are involved in quality management systems compliance.
- Ensure your team follows through with tasks without needing constant supervision or reminders from you or others in your organization.
- Deliver policy and procedure templates that meet the needs of your workforce to reach 100% compliance with industry standards.