A policy manual is a collection of documents that define an organization’s rules, policies and procedures, and helps staff and management run the business. Policy manuals may be offline, paper documents and/or virtual documents, which are stored electronically.
There are company-wide, department-focused and role-specific policies. Policy topics include:
- human resources
- information technology
A policy document includes an overview of the policy, a description of the employees impacted by the policy, the benefits or expected outcome of the policy, the consequences of not following the policy and the creation date of the policy.
The existence of well-written, standardized policies will save management time and help to ensure employees across the business are treated fairly, which can improve morale and reduce legal risks. In addition, business policy manuals align with and support corporate strategies and values.
A policy manual review, led by someone in the human resources department, is often part of a new employee orientation program. Many companies require that new employees sign a document confirming that they have read and will abide by the company policies.
Ongoing policy reminders, new policy introduction and ongoing reinforcement of policies are most often handled by department management. These activities may be accomplished in one-on-one meetings, team meetings and/or by leveraging email or other electronic communication channels.