This is one of the oldest and most annoying issues with policies and procedures that has carried over to all business content…in the absence of tools and processes, business information becomes out of date and unreliable. Employees stop paying attention to it because they think it is not relevant or reliable. Management is not motivated to work through a process of updating the information because employees don’t pay it any attention, anyway. You can reverse this negative cycle. Here are some steps that will help:
Put your content in the hands of the people who have the knowledge of what should be in the documentation. This sounds like a really obvious statement, but many organizations leave managers or supervisors responsible for content that the line-staff is better equipped to update. Whether inside or outside of policyIQ, make sure that the people “in the know” are the ones penning the necessary changes to your procedures, training, safety and other documentation.
Provide a “Feedback” link
You can—it’s really easy. Add a Rich Text field to your Page Templates and provide the content readers with a link to an appropriate and monitored email address. Using the Rich Text field will render the email address as an easy to use hyperlink, making it convenient for users to report concerns or questions regarding a policy, procedure or other type of content.
Systematically schedule content updates
Often people work through a big push to write or update documentation only to find out that once they’ve finished, the content that they started with is due for review already! It’s easy to overlook the need to set the reviews in motion if you’ve been busy with other things. Who isn’t busy with “other things”?! It’s completely normal for business owners and those responsible for business information to simply forget to keep things updated. Our suggestion…
Utilize Page Expiration.
Understand when, why, and how this is useful. While some things need to be looked at quarterly, you do not necessarily need to set them to expire quarterly. They are at low risk of being overlooked. What might be overlooked? Your policies, procedures, training documentation, safety documentation, specifications, and quality docs are at risk of becoming stale.
Here’s what you do:
- Adjust the expiration parameters for each Page Template in your Setup module. You can set content to expire or not to expire. For content that expires, you can provide guidance for the content owners by setting the default expiration period and the maximum expiration limit.
- Be sure to tell your content owners to add “Expired and Expiring Items” to their Dashboard.
- Teach content owners that they have the option to easily reset the expiration date on content that does not require changes by selecting the “Renew Expiration” option. This option can even be applied in bulk to a list of selected pages.
- If you decide that it is more appropriate to not require content to expire, you can utilize Reports to list all content of a specific type and then remove the expiration date requirement in bulk.
We say this all the time, but I still think it’s worth mentioning—explore your reporting options! There are tons of things that you can handle en masse to help you move through your responsibilities more efficiently and effectively.
Did we miss an easy tip that you use? Please share it with us!