The Art of Writing Effective Policies and Procedures

One of the primary tasks for a company is that of writing effective policies and procedures. The way it goes about writing effective policies and procedures is a good indicator of the ways by which an organization approaches the way it does business.

Obviously, any business has to be organized and systematic. Writing effective policies and procedures is a means to making the employees in the organization get a proper idea of what policies they are expected to follow. Policies and procedures are important guidelines and indicators of the way the organization goes about its business, and hence, it is important for these documents to be written down, and written down neatly.

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What goes into writing effective policies and procedures?

When writing policies and procedures, a few factors need to be kept in mind. Some of the qualities/factors for writing effective policies and procedures include these:

Clarity

When writing effective policies and procedures, an organization has to bear in mind the fact that clarity is the defining feature of policies and procedures. This, obviously, is the first step towards writing a set of writing effective policies and procedures, because if there are phrases that are ambiguous, there is scope for interpretation, which leaves everyone confused.

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Simplicity

People in the organization who are involved in writing effective policies and procedures should bear in mind the audience for which these documents are written. Obviously, it is for the ordinary employee that these policies and procedures are written, and not for journalists or lawyers, right? So, the language in these documents should reflect this aspect. The policies and procedures are also not meant to test or demonstrate the write's vocabulary. Heaviness or grandiloquence in the writing style may put the user off, defeating the purpose for which the task of writing effective policies and procedures is undertaken.

Language

The style of writing effective policies and procedures should always be straight and in active voice. There should be no hint of any probability of action or uncertainty of terms. A phrase like "will be provided" is a lot more direct than "shall strive to provide". The kinds of expressions that are included in the policies and procedures are very important in helping users understand the tone and intent of the content.

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Publish these documents

Writing effective policies and procedures is one part. Making these policies and procedures known is another. It is important that apart from writing effective policies and procedures; they also have to be published at the right sources, so that people who need to know about these are aware of their presence and know what to do with these documents. It thus is important that a few important factors are kept in mind while writing effective policies and procedures.