Companies are in favour of workplace policies to help minimise risk. But far too often these policies are littered with legal terms, regulations and restrictions. Policies like these which fail to motivate and engage employees miss the point and are not effective.
Here are our tips for drafting coherent and engaging policies that will have a positive impact on life in the workplace:
1. Explain the Purpose
Create trust between you and your employees by ensuring everyone understands the policy’s purpose. Why is the policy necessary? Explain unambiguously what value it brings to your company.
2. Avoid Jargon
Make sure you use precise wording that every employee will understand. Avoid legal or technical jargon. Use short, simple sentences to ensure the meaning is clearly communicated.
3. Use Real-Life Examples
Explain what acceptable and unacceptable behaviour in the workplace looks like by using real-life examples. These examples should be tailored to your company's day-to-day work and address real risks.
4. Define the Policy’s Scope
Identify which employees must comply and which are excluded. If persons or groups are excluded, ensure these are precisely defined to avoid any misunderstanding in the future. Ensure that only relevant employees are being asked to read policies.
5. Define and Communicate Consequences of Infringements
A workplace policy is only effective if it clearly defines the consequences for employees if they fail to comply. Make clear how employees should act if they see internal violations occurring.
6. Avoid Restrictions
Negative formulations and harsh restrictions should be avoided. Formulate your policies as positive expectations therefore showing employees that you have confidence in them.
Follow these six tips for writing your workplace policies to ensure your employees are engaged and will adhere to the policies.
In addition, we would recommend implementing a well-structured policy life cycle as even the best policies are only effective if they are reviewed periodically. The easiest way to manage this is by using a digital policy management system.
Interested in digital policy management? Contact us today for a no-commitment demo of our EQS Policy Manager.