Policies are critical to the organization as they establish boundaries of behavior for individuals, operating entities, business processes, relationships, and transactions. When properly managed, communicated, and enforced these policies provide the following:
PROVIDE A FRAMEWORK OF GOVERNANCE
Policy paints a picture of behavior, values, and ethics that define the culture and expected behavior of the organization; without policy, there are no consistent rules, and parts of the organization can easily go in different directions that may be counterproductive to the corporate goals and objectives.
IDENTIFY AND TREAT RISK
The existence of a policy means a risk has been identified and is significant enough to have a formal policy to manage the risk.
Policies document how the organization operates to meet requirements and obligations from regulators, contracts, and voluntary commitments.
Policies in most cases define fiduciary, ethical, regulatory or legal duty of the organization and its employees that cannot be approached haphazardly. Lack of Policy Management can introduce liability and exposure. Noncompliant policies can and will be used against the organization in legal and regulatory proceedings to place culpability.
In this context, organizations are struggling with the following issues:
- Policies haphazardly managed in documents, file shares, and ineffective portals
- Different departments have a high likelihood of developing inconsistent policy as they are focused on one perspective or business function
- Inconsistent dissemination of policies across the organization
- Lack of centralized repository of all organization policies
- Providing a defensible audit trail of all interactions with the creation, approval, and dissemination of the policy through the rank and file
- Reactive and inefficient training programs
- Policies that do not adhere to consistent style, language, and format
- Rogue policies that have the potential to significantly increase an organization’s liability and exposure; which can have a negative effect on the corporate brand
- Out of date and inconsistent policies
- No tracking of policy exceptions
Many organizations lack a coordinated enterprise strategy for policy development, maintenance, communication, attestation, and training. To defend itself, the organization must be able to show a detailed history of what policy was in effect, how it was communicated, who read it, who was trained on it, who attested to it, what exceptions were granted, and how policy violation and resolution was monitored and managed. An organization must establish policy it is willing to enforce – but also must clearly train and communicate policy to make sure that individuals understand what is expected of them.
With today’s complex business operations, mergers and acquisitions, global expansion, and the ever changing legal, regulatory and compliance environments, a well-defined policy management program is vital to enable an organization to effectively develop and maintain the policies needed to reliably achieve objectives while addressing uncertainty and act with integrity. This is why organizations are aggressively looking at established policy management platforms to address these challenges.
The Symfact Policy Management solution is specifically focused on managing the complete lifecycle process for your corporate policy portfolio and ensures employees have read and provided their attestation of each.