How to Formulate Policies

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Developing an effective, well-written policy may take more than it sounds. Policies constitute a way of stating a company's position on a particular issue. If you attempt to cover every possible eventuality, you run the risk of creating too many unwieldy policies. These are quite likely to be ignored, as employees are overwhelmed with paperwork they are required to read. Well-written policies also make a very valuable reference tool for employees in times of doubt.

Review existing policies, and discuss them critically with appropriately qualified colleagues. Decide whether you need to use a similar format for the current policy. Decide on the appropriate people to be involved in formulating the policy. Discuss whether a policy constitute the appropriate way of dealing with the issue under discussion. Some policies are mandatory, such as health and safety.

Appoint appropriate people to work on the policy. You need somebody with expertise in the particular area, and somebody with overall responsibility for wording it. Some people are more adept than others at expressing themselves cogently and comprehensively.

Write down exactly what the company needs to encompass. Check that it conforms with legislation and does not contradict existing policies unless it replaces one that is inadequate. Ask the company lawyer to check the policy. Ask for comments from those involved. When the final draft has been approved, send it to staff members and ask them to read and sign it.