What is the value of policies, especially in terms of building, sustaining and protecting corporate reputation?
The value of policies is immense. It sets a framework for people to operate within.
Prevention of reputation related incidents in an organisation is one of the least costly and most efficient means of protecting a treasured reputation, but usually the most overlooked. Preventing in the first place, the types of defects that can badly tarnish or destroy a reputation saves an extraordinary amount of anguish, time, effort and money.
Prevention starts with the published policies, guidelines and procedures that all organization employees are expected to follow and implement. These published policies, guidelines, and procedures should be a reflection of the reputation that the firm wants to achieve. If a company wants to be known as a safe and friendly place to work, its policies should assure employees won’t suffer from discrimination, harassment or safety issues. If a firm wants to be a good community neighbour, its programs should allow employees to contribute and participate in community programs and services.
However there are a number of important principles to remember when writing, distributing and implementing policies.
– The mere fact that a policy has been written and distributed is no guarantee that buy-in into the implementation will occur. How will you measure adherence to the policy?
– How can you ensure that I as the recipient of the policy understand and will act on the content?
– Has your policies been benchmarked against best practice, environmental context (An USA Policy may not work in Arabia)
Measurement of compliance needs to be built into the design phase, delivery, and implementation and distribution phases.
You cannot leave it to the Internal Auditors to report six months later that a policy is not working due to the following…..