Policy management is the process of creating, implementing, and enforcing policies within your organization. These policies can pertain to regulations, compliance, and security, and it’s paramount that every member in your organization follows them—and failure to do so can result in breach of data and even legal repercussions in the face of an audit.
Having an organized system for ensuring that all employees are aware of, and following, your created policies goes hand-in-hand with having an intranet. Policy management usually involves four steps: creation, communication, management, and maintenance. Let’s look at all four of these steps in detail and see how an intranet can help streamline these processes.
1. Create new policies
When an organization becomes aware of the need for a new employee policy, it must set about creating one that is clear, succinct, compliant, and gets approval from various parties within the company—from legal to HR to the C-suite. The written policy must go through approval stages, with required parties signing their agreement to the new policy.
With IC’s intranet, those approval stages can be sped up with our Document Review Management feature. For each document, you can assign content approval managers, which notifies key employees (that you chose) to ensure content is up to date and relevant. This way, HR, legal, and anyone else who is involved in the creation of policies can review the content and approve it if it is updated and correct, or flag it for needing further work. Furthermore, by using your intranet to house the new policy as it’s being created, you can ensure that everyone has the most updated version at their disposal—unlike using a shared document drive. With an intranet, the creation stage of your new policy is sped up, efficient, and more compliant than before.
2. Communicate policies to employees
Once all the necessary people have approved your new policy, it’s time to share it with your employees, and ensure they understand how it affects their work and what is expected of them. IC’s intranet has a number of key features that make policy management easier.
With document Read and Agrees on your intranet, you can make sure that everyone has read, and agreed with, the new policy. You can see at a glance which employees have confirmed their compliance with your new policy, and which employees may need a gentle nudge to remind them to read and agree with it (which can be done quickly and automatically with our automated reminders feature). And with our purpose-built widgets, you can create an eye-grabbing widget on the homepage of your intranet to remind employees of a policy they need to read and agree.
If a policy is extremely time sensitive, you can even use our Push feature to get it to your employees quickly, and on their preferred messaging platform (Teams, Slack, SMS, or email). And with our powerful analytics feature, you can see exactly who opened, clicked, or re-opened your message, and set-up follow up reminders to employees who have not yet read your message.
3. Manage policies
Now that you’ve created and communicated your new policy, it’s time to make sure it continues to be enforced, exceptions are dealt with quickly and appropriately, and new hires are made aware of all policies during the onboarding process. Your intranet is the key tool to use when onboarding new hires. It should have all relevant and up-to-date files, documents, policies, tools, and templates stored in one easy to access place; allowing both hiring managers and new employees to know exactly where to go to get up to speed on the ins-and-outs of your company.
Having a document management system that houses all your policies is also key to ensuring that employees have ample opportunity to check what rules they should be adhering to, allowing the enforcement of policies to be self-regulated. And when exceptions to the policy are needed, you can again use the automated forms approval features to quickly identify why, how, and by whom an exception needs to be made.
4. Maintain and enforce policies
Policies may be subject to change, and this is where employees and managers can get confused as to what is expected of them. Whenever there is a change in policy, ensure that the most up-to-date information is quickly uploaded to the correct place in your intranet, and consider sending out a Push message for the most important and drastic updates, so you can ensure your entire staff are aware of and compliant with policy changes.
Throughout the whole process, your employees need to be able to rely on a single place for the most updated information regarding workplace policies—and the intranet is the perfect place for that. With IC’s intranet software, you can rest assured that your documents and policies are kept secure, either on-premise or in the cloud, and that all workers—even non-desk bound—are able to gain access when they need to.
Ready to start streamlining your policy management?
Click here to book a no-obligations demo and talk with our expert sales team about how our software can best fit your document management and policy management needs. Not quite ready for a demo? Check out our free resources, like our “Measurable Improvements with IC’s Intranet” whitepaper!