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How do I choose the right Policy Management Software for My Company?

February 1, 2021
CMX
by CMX
CMX
by CMX

Choosing the right Policy Management Software for your company

Having established policies and standard operating procedures (SOPs), not only protects your organization from potential litigation, but more importantly it empowers your employees with clear instructions and expectations, and helps in creating a culture of operational excellence. But creating new policies and procedures from scratch can be a daunting task, and managing updates and communicating them is even more difficult over time. Gone are the days where your policy binder can sit and gather dust on your office shelf. You need a more robust system to ensure the quality, safety, compliance and optimal customer experience in your organization.

 

What is Policy Management?

Policies are guidelines that outline your business’s strategy for operating at its best, reducing risks, addressing issues that may arise, and ultimately helping your team to deliver on your brand values and promises to your customers. It’s basically the bridge between your vision and values, and how you execute them in your day-to-day operations. Having a comprehensive set of policies and procedures allows your employees to know your organization’s vision, what you expect from them, and how to achieve both.

Policy management is the process of creating these policies, communicating them, and ensuring they’re adhered to. As a business leader, you may see it as a necessary evil and perhaps even an inconvenience. But policies and procedures are the centerpiece of your organization’s playbook. Manage them properly, and you will mitigate potential risk and your business will run like a well-oiled machine.

Download our guide on Policy Management

 

How Do You Manage Policies and Procedures?

There’s a bunch of work that goes into policy management. Creating, reviewing, and approving new policies and procedures often requires collaboration among leadership and therefore requires excellent document management and version control. You then also need to communicate new and updated policies to employees, ensuring policy compliance, and operational consistency across all your locations.

 

How does this work?

 

  1. Create the policies – All these policies need to be stored in one place that’s easily accessible.
  2. Review the policies – Make sure senior management has viewed and approved the latest version of the content.
  3. Publish your policies – Policy communication is extremely important. Make sure that the employees have access to it and understand the expectations and compliance requirements.

 

Importance of Organizational Communication

But policies and procedures alone won’t get you very far. Without a fully effective management system, they can fast become useless. Trying to manage evolving policies and procedures, informing your employees of changes, and monitoring compliance, will be unnecessarily difficult if you’re relying on outdated paper-based systems. Doing it manually just doesn’t cut it, and it can have little impact on sustaining any organizational improvement over time!

 

What is Policy Management Software?

Fortunately, here in the 21st century, digital policy management software is now possible in a cloud-based format. Policy management software provides you with a web-based application that allows you to create and organize policies and procedures, making it easy to review, manage, and communicate in real-time with your employees. It also makes your digital policy manuals easily accessible to your employees via a web browser.

06 - Policy Studio - Landing Page_CROPPED

How Do I Choose the Right Policy Management Software for My Company?

You’re likely to have many policies that are unique to your organization, so you probably won't share the exact same requirements as other businesses. Here are a few things to consider when choosing Policy Management Software:

 

1. Creating relevant policies for different employees – There are many policies used within an organization (e.g., employee attendance, code of conduct, use of company property, discrimination, health and safety, etc.). But they aren’t all relevant to every single employee. This is where access and version controls are useful. You should be able to modify policies, varying content applicable to the user. Access control ensures employees to only see policies relevant to their specific job description.


2. Easy updates – Policies aren’t stagnant. They need to be updated on a regular basis whenever:

  • You buy new equipment or software;
  • You launch new products or services;
  • There’s an increase in accidents, food safety failures, or customer complaints;
  • Employees are confused regarding their day-to-day responsibilities;
  • Your organization starts producing inconsistent results;
  • Regulatory requirements (either in your own organization or by external bodies) change.

You need software that makes managing these updates quick and easy. Look for authoring tools that will simplify this process, e.g., drag-and-drop, rich text editing, and sufficient storage. CMX1’s PolicyStudio includes all these tools and more. Content can be enriched with images, photos, multimedia, and it can even be linked to operational activities including audits, self-assessments, checklists, and inspections.

 

Download our guide on Policy Management


3. Publishing policies - Once you update your policies, you’ll want to publish them and distribute the content to all relevant employees. You should be able to use your Policy Management Software to either publish it immediately, or schedule it for a future date and time.


4. Easy access – We’ve all rummaged through a binder in the search of lost documents at some point in our lives. A great policy or procedure is only good if you can actually find it. So instead of rummaging through your dusty binder when a food safety incident occurs, PolicyStudio creates a unique URL allowing your employees to access relevant content quickly and conveniently, and easily search for relevant information.


5. Better direction and operational performance– A big reason why so many large distributed organizations with high turnover (like restaurants, hotels, grocery chains, and retailers) struggle isn’t a lack of employee training. Rather, it's providing proper direction, instruction and reinforcement within the context of their daily routines. With a software solution like CMX1, you can link your brand standards, policies, and SOPs created in PolicyStudio to specific operational activities that are managed by ActivityStudio®. This gives your employees not only the instruction they need, but the context required to execute at their best.

As you can see, having a proper policy management system is absolutely essential for your organization. Keeping track of all policy changes, knowing who made those changes, and facilitating proper communication among your employees is far more manageable when you go digital.

 

Why wait to implement Policy Management Software?

Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and DNV GL conducted a survey in 2019 and found that food and beverage establishments are generally slow to embrace technological advancements. While this means digital transformation across the industry might be lagging, it represents a big opportunity for forward thinking brands.

Download our guide on Policy Management

 

Download our module guide for PolicyStudio (CMX1's Policy Management solution) to learn more, or better yet, get in touch and let one of our product experts show you how CMX1 can help you achieve Operational and Quality Excellence across your organization—whether you’re a regional chain or a global giant. 

 

 

Sources: 

Amy Castro. 7 Reasons Your Policies and Procedures are Useless. https://amycastro.com/blog/your-policies-and-procedures-are-useless/

Food Safety News. Survey finds slow take-up of digital methods to enhance food safety. https://www.foodsafetynews.com/2019/03/survey-finds-slow-take-up-of-digital-methods-to-enhance-food-safety/

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