Why Does an Organisation Need Policy Software?

Policy software provides a framework in which staff members, including the senior management team, and nonexecutive directors can operate, knowing the limitations of what they can do, and conversely what is expected of them. On top of this, there is an ever increasing raft of legislation that business and public sector organisations need to comply with, often by putting a policy in place. For some areas, such as health and safety, it is not sufficient to simply put a policy in place; the business must be able to demonstrate that staff have read and understood the policy. There must be intranet sites all around the country that are full of policy documents that staff are not aware of, do not refer to or cannot find.

  • What Can Go Wrong?
  • Many organisations spend a lot of time and resource preparing policies using policy software, but miss the opportunity to ensure that:

  • the organisation has all of the policies in place required to meet legislative requirements
  • staff are aware of all of the relevant policies
  • staff understand what those policies mean and how to comply with them
  • policy software remain up-to-date and fit for purpose
  • updates to existing policies are effectively communicated around the organisation.
  • Therefore, the cost-benefit of investing time on preparing policies is maximised if policies are well communicated and managed once drafted. All of these issues have an operational impact on the processes in place, and the day-to-day requirements on staff members.

    However, there are governance implications and risks for all of these. For example:

  • non-compliance with legislation, or inability to demonstrate compliance – could lead to fines, or punitive action
  • lack of direction within the organisation, leading to difficulties in implementing new initiatives or reaching targets and objectives
  • senior management and non-executives are too involved in levels of detail as there is no clear policy delegating authority or parameters within which staff should operate
  • staff continue to refer to out of date policies, which could lead to non-compliance with legislation or internal regulations
  • inability to refer back to communication and knowledge of a particular policy when dealing with disciplinary issues, investigations, or performance management issues.
  • Good Governance Includes Good Policy Software Management

    Ultimately, governance is about managing the organisation at the highest level. How can the Board do this effectively if there is no clear framework in place?

    Effective governance requires a statement of how the board operates, including a high level statement of which types of decisions are to be taken by the board and which are to be delegated to management. Can a Board really say that it has clear policies in place to support this declaration if no-one is aware of those policies and there is no way of ensuring that the policies have been both read and understood? A suitable policy software package can abolish this burden from a company completely.

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