As business owners we often set policies and procedures from a reactive point of view. Something happened that brought the situation to our
attention and then we put things in place to ensure they don’t happen again. But is this the best way to create policies? Can your staff weigh in on their effectiveness and when they do, do their opinions matter? If you have a sense that your staff is rumbling about a policy or the way you do things there are some techniques you can use to evaluate the usefulness of your strategies and save the sanity of your staff.
Are you sure this is the best way?
To evaluate a policy fairly you are going to have to remove your ego and ask yourself ‘Is this the best way to do this’? You want to consider industry best practices and you need to be aware of new techniques and technology within the industry. You don’t want to have a manual operation when everyone else is using an automated one; by not keeping up with industry trends, you are severely limiting your ability to serve your customers, train your staff and make informed decisions about what will work for your company.
How will this help the company grow while supporting the customer’s needs?
This is a long-term question and that is the most common reason why it isn’t addressed in strategies. Think about how HP’s decision to
pull the tablet or the decision by Netflix to increase prices and complicate delivery affected them. No one asked the question, ‘how will this help us grow and how will it help us support the customer’s needs’? The best policy is one that will grown and adapt with your company and client needs. To determine those needs you are going to have to sit down and commit to growth and service. Make sure that your goals are stated simply and communicated often; this communication creates an environment where employees can tell you if the policy makes sense in the long run.
Complaints about policy are not a bad thing
Businesses have a belief that a complaint is inherently a bad thing, but nothing is further from the truth. A complaint highlights risk
and as a business, risk identification is a great preventive measure. If you propose a policy and your staff tell you that it won’t work because of X, Y and Z; you should listen critically. Understand what they are telling you, maybe the policy needs to be reworked, maybe it needs to be scrapped completely but that dissention in the ranks can provide useful information.
The key to effective policy is communication. You will need to communicate the goals of the policy and how it fits into your growth strategy;
this communication will help you grow your company and your staff potential.