Writing and updating policies can be a time-consuming burden, leaving some to neglect this important work. As a result, the procedures that were established at the same time as the company may still be in effect, meaning your policies are trapped in the past. Think about it this way – would you ignore new technology or updated software in favor of the outdated versions you’re using? Most likely not, and the same principle applies to your company policies.
Certain core elements will reflect the nature and mission of your company and will likely never change, but that can’t be said for everything else included in your handbook. If you still aren’t convinced, here are three reasons why you should regularly review your company policies.
1. Laws will change
A large portion of your company policies will reflect both federal and state laws related to time on the job, accidents, reporting, and more. This alone is reason enough to review them to make sure they still match the current guidelines annually.
Ultimately, you are at risk if a law has changed, and your workers fail to comply because you didn’t take the time to keep your procedures updated. Beyond just an update handbook, staying informed with the changing laws will help you manage your company better.
2. Technologies evolve
Whether it’s a technology-related directly to the work of your company or an employee’s personal use, a policy put in place five years ago isn’t as relevant today. The rapidly evolving field of technology means you need to stay current or get lost in the shuffle.
If the tech you use advances, but your policies still reflect what you used in the past, you may face difficulty if something happens, and you don’t have anything formally in place that can address the incident.
3. Best practices improve
The combination of evolving laws and technologies means the best practices will change as well. What worked well in the past won’t align with where things are now, so there will be a disconnect. This can lead to inconsistent and ineffective policies that are both written and verbal that do more to confuse your employees (and management!) more than anything else.
Do yourself a favor and set apart time each year to review your policies and update where necessary. The more it becomes a routine, the less work it will be year to year, and you can rest assured in your regularly updated company policies.
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