Policy Management Best Practices

Symfact_Policy_Management_software

Effective policy management could not only save your business time and money, but can help protect your business against risk, litigation, and fines for non-compliance. Your corporate policies are the foundation on which to base any future strategy and provides the clear principles and guidelines for your company and employees to follow. Adhering to your own policies is vitally important for your business’ reputation and continued success.

Because it is so important, well-structured policy management can make a dramatic difference to your business. Having and implementing a series of best practices can create the framework needed to successfully manage your corporate policies and set the right tone for your workplace environment.

Below are the best practices your business or organization need to consider when creating your policy management structure.

Allocate policy owners and responsibilities

One of the first best practices that should be in place for policy management, is deciding who owns and is responsible for the different policies. By having a dedicated person or team, you ensure consistency, a key element to successful policy management.

By having an established role, your team have full knowledge of all the policies and their roles and responsibilities. This may be your compliance team but could also be HR or a dedicated contract manager that takes on the role.

Have centralized data storage

Keeping all your policies in a digital, online location, helps with accessibility and means they can be easily updated. In this format, changes can be made quickly to stay compliant with outside regulations and easily distributed through the company.

Moving to a paperless system also has the benefits of improving your businesses green credentials, at a time when there is a lot of focus on climate change and corporate responsibility. Clients and customers are now being attracted to companies that have better eco-credentials and are seen as being environmentally conscious. By moving all your policies into a digital, centralized platform, you can help your business reduce your carbon footprint by negating the need for a paper trail and so reducing both your usage and waste.

Good communication and visibility

Good communication is an essential component of any successful management system but can be especially pertinent to policy management. Having better communication with your employees and making any policies easily accessible, preferably digitally, by allowing company-wide access, enables a greater uptake and compliance with policies. This visibility and effective communication can also increase the value and importance that employees put on policy.

In the event of a changing situation or crisis, the ability to change company policies to reflect new circumstances is vital, especially to satisfy legal obligations and changing regulations, and that can only be achieved if you have excellent communication and a solid working relationship with your employees.

Any policy exceptions should also be made clear at every stage. This ensures a more harmonious working environment for staff and avoids management issues that may occur from any misunderstanding.

Implement a digital solution

With technology driving the digitalization of businesses, the best practice for any management system is to implement an automated solution. Policy Management Software provides a consistent and robust automated process for management of corporate policies, and helps with adherence to all. It can offer a digital platform for creating policies, standards and gives your business the framework for future business growth.

Policy management software can allow you to communicate new policies or changes across your business or organisation to help ensure compliance by tracking acceptance and assessing comprehension. This can simplify the policy management process, especially with ever changing regulations, and can keep you up to date in a fast-paced regulated market.

We referred to central data storage earlier in the blog as this in itself is a best practice. However, this is also a standard feature offered by most providers, including Symfact. All the information and data collected during any policy creation, including master copies of any policy, can be stored in a central contract repository.

By keeping all your policies together, online and in a secure location, not only do you reduce your paper trail and waste, increasing your sustainability in the process, but businesses throughout any industry can make policy administration a more efficient and streamlined process.

Although having a central repository for data can allow better communication and visibility to not just government and regulatory bodies, but for employees and third parties alike, there will be times when sensitive data is involved, and access and visibility need to be restricted. It is important to implement a policy management software with a similar tool to the control access interface offered by Symfact, which allows configuration and control over information and data. This helps protect both employees and your business and reduces your liability.

There can be a lot of people involved when creating policie. Legal issues surrounding rules and regulations means there often needs to be an oversight by legal experts within the field. With policy management software you can create all your policies, and easily communicate them company-wide and to any third parties, whilst tracking any changes, using e-signatures for any policies that need approval sign-off, to ensure the process is not slowed down. By automating this process, you can vastly reduce the amount of time it takes to approve and implement a policy or procedure and it also means nothing will fall under the radar due to mismanagement or poor productivity.

Another benefit to this software is that certain software providers offer industry specific solutions, including here at Symfact, and can integrate Policy Management Software into a range of systems, so you use your existing infrastructure to link policies across the organization, stakeholders and any third parties. This is important if you want to be able to minimize the risk of non-compliance fines and litigation.

One of the most useful features of a policy management system is the automated reporting tool. It can be used to configure and track important milestones and events and trigger notifications to the relevant persons.

Interactive dashboards can give you a quick visual overview on the governance of policy management and ensure you are implementing best practices.

If you feel your organization could benefit from policy management software, then please contact us here at Symfact. We can discuss your requirements and configure the right solution to streamline your policies, maximize your business productivity and help manage compliance with improved communication and transparency.