policyIQ has been getting back to its roots lately, with a high demand for help managing policies and procedures. And more often than not, Compliance and Audit Directors are the ones seeking help to pull together the governing documentation – going beyond just internal controls and focusing on the full picture Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC). Policies are being recognized as the backbone of all of the varied compliance efforts – whether it is SOX, Anti-Bribery, Non-Discrimination, Anti-Harassment in the Workplace, or Privacy Laws. Companies don’t just want more easily accessible documentation – they want more effective documentation. They want policies that have an impact on the behavior and culture of the entire organization.
How can your documentation “make an impact”?
Just last month, Art Weeast, Director of Process Management at Jones International, co-presented with our team on Process Intelligence in policyIQ. He has utilized policyIQ to make internal documentation, particularly Procedures, more relevant, valuable and collaborative from the front line to the board room. Mr. Weeast’s process focused on making documentation complete, making it easy to create, and mapping front line procedures to the big picture processes. At Jones International, both executives and staff understand the whole picture – and how each contributes to their overall success.
With effective process and procedure documentation, your employees can better understand how their daily work impacts the success of the company, but is everyone acting under the same core values that dictate their behavior or responses in any given situation? Do they understand the corporate culture?
Policies set the tone for corporate culture
Corporate culture can be difficult to define. Your mission statement might summarize it, but how does a new employee know the behaviors that will truly live up to it? Does the company value entrepreneurship and innovation? What is the risk appetite? Do you have a formal reporting structure, or a more open, collaborative environment? Are client relationships formal or do you create familial atmosphere with your client community? How transparent are you with stakeholders? Do you share everything, or keep information close to the vest?
In a perfect world, the answer is that your policies will reflect and describe these behaviors and values, while the procedures provide the more specific steps and instructions for accomplishing tasks.
Govern your Governance
With all of this in mind, you can see how critical your policies, procedures and process documentation can be to the overall success of your organization. It defines who you are and how you behave as a company. Managing this critical information should be done with as much, if not more, care than any other compliance content – and yet it is more likely that policies and procedures are inconsistently documented on inaccessible and poorly administered shared drives or intranet sites. Your policy management tool should offer you:
- Enforced consistency in documentation templates
- Automated audit trail and version history
- Security to determine who can read, who can edit and who must approve an item
- Collaborative workflow and approval processes
- Flexible organization and indexing
- Update alerts to keep employees informed of changes
- Sign-offs for critical content
- Oversight reporting to see who is reading or who made changes
Get what you need in policyIQ
This is the policyIQ blog, so we’d be remiss if we didn’t suggest that you manage your policies and procedures in our product. For the past 10 years, policyIQ has been working with organizations to manage their most critical documentation, and we’ve continued to create features and share best practices that make your policy management programs more powerful.
We often hear organizations tell us that they prefer to keep their policies where they have always been – perhaps an intranet site, a shared directory or a Sharepoint site – because employees are already familiar with how to get them there. Did you know that policyIQ pages can be linked into any of those locations without requiring a user to login or even realize that they are in policyIQ? (And of course, read-only access is always free!)
Contact us and let us help you to manage your policies more effectively and help you to build documentation that positively impacts your company, your employees and your bottom line!