Benchmark Business Group

The Way We Do Things

August 9, 2018

Bill is always late! Cathy doesn't seem to get it! Taylor is not getting the results we need!

If these are the types of statements a business owner is making, it may not be about the employees, but about the business's policies and procedures it has (or maybe doesn't have) in place.


Every business, no matter the industry, needs to establish the way things are done by developing structured policies and procedures necessary for employees to know how to work within the business. Policies and procedures that mirror the business's culture, values, and way of thinking. The specific expectations every employee needs to know so they can be successful in the way things are done in the business.

If policies and procedures have this much impact on the success of a business, what are they and how are they different?

Policies
Policies are specific rules that back up the culture and values of a business. They give direction on what is expected. 

Examples of policies:
  • Dress Code
  • Vacation or Personal Time Off
  • Customer service policies
  • Communication guidelines
  • Work hours
  • Use of personal cell phones 
Procedures
Procedures are a set of instructions to execute and accomplish the tasks of a position. Procedures are the "how" to perform within the business's structure.
 
Examples of procedures:
  • How to get vacation approval
  • How to answer the phone
  • How to clock in and out of work
  • How to perform a specific task to meet expectations
Policies and procedures are necessary for any employee and should be part of the initial training. When a new, or even current, employee is given a task, they may be hesitant to execute it for the first time. They need to be shown how it is done, the expectations and standards, and what resources are available.

If a business doesn't help the employee work through this, they are left to determine the way things are done on their own. The result is a business full of employees doing things in several different ways. A business without consistency in operations; a business with no structure or guidance; and a business with high turnover because employees didn't know how things were done or how to add their personality and style.
 
Policies and procedures ensure all employees know what to do and how their position adds to the bottom line of the business. They keep the business running with consistency and ensures everyone knows why and how everything works together to grow and succeed.
 
Our challenge to you is uncover what needs to change, or needs to be clearly communicated to all employees so they know the way things are done. Don't assume they know already, it's up to you, the business owner, to establish and communicate policies and procedures for a business that operates more efficiently.

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