Onboarding staff to your policies and procedures

When onboarding staff you need introduce them to some key policies. But can you do that without boring them to death? And can you do it in a meaningful way?

Including policies in your onboarding process is important for many reasons. One, because policies and procedures help you manage risks and guide best practices in your organisation.  Secondly, because staff have to know the policies and procedures in order to implement them. Thirdly, because when and if “crunch time” comes, you won’t be able to rely on your policies and procedures if you’ve never taken the trouble to bring them to your staff’s attention.

At the Policy Place, we deal with many clients who talk about the difficulty of getting staff to read and apply policies and procedures. So be assured, you’re not alone with this challenge.

In this post, we’re going to look at two ways staff can be introduced to policies and procedures in an organisation.

picture of man struggling to reinforce need for AI policy and procedures

Option 1 – You’re killing me

This is when you start a job and are told to sit and read the policies and procedures, then sign off on them once done. In the old days the policies and procedures were a dusty old manual. More modern renditions might be on a Shared Drive or Online Platform like the Policy Place online policy service.

In our online policy service, we aim to make policy content more digestible and accessible. By using an online platform, we  reduce the typical density and repetition in organisational policies by using internal and external hyperlinks. We support policy implementation by providing training and other helpful resource links.

The Policy Place gets a lot of positive feedback for its online policies. However, no matter what form policies and procedures take and how hard we try to make them user-friendly, policies and procedures just don’t feature in people’s “top of the pops” list.

Typically, people try and avoid policies. It doesn’t make sense therefore for an organisation to ask new staff to read through their policies and procedures and sign off on them for induction. What an excitement killer!

It’s also a strategy that is unlikely to succeed. Reading policies without having the knowledge or chance to apply the content to real situations and issues, makes it hard to grasp and understand the policy content let alone apply the content.

Option 2 – YES I get it!

A much better way of onboarding staff to policies and procedures is through short online courses that cover off the “essentials” in policy area.

The courses need to be interactive and give staff the chance to apply what they learn to problems and scenarios.  The courses are not substitutes for the policies and procedures. But they should address “the essentials” and refer to your policies and procedures.

This type of course is now being offered by the Policy Place.

“Yes, I get it!” is how staff will feel at the end of one of the courses. The courses are interactive and give staff the opportunity through the courses to learn and apply key policy essentials in areas like health and safety and Abuse and Protection to real scenarios and problems. Other courses are in progress.

The courses get rid of the need for staff to have to read through and sign off on policies as part of their induction.

Most of the courses can be completed within 30-40 mins. Once completed, staff are issued with a certificate. This gives you the proof you need as a manager to assure yourself that staff do have the required understanding of key policies and procedures.

 Onboarding staff to “Yes I get it”

You can aim high now with your inductions – for your new staff to be motivated and to understand the essentials of your policies and procedures.  And with this as your starting point, policy implementation in your workplace looks a lot rosier!

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