Do your policies contain policy?

Well-written policies contain statements of policy, not advice.

The distinction is critical: employees who are in breach of policy risk getting disciplined or fired; employees who simply ignore advice do not run the same risk.

Take the following statement:

“Employees should arrive at meetings on time.”

As written, that statement is advice, not policy. Even when an employee arrives late to a meeting, that doesn’t change the proposition that the employee should arrive on time.

If you have an employee who habitually arrives late to a meeting, then it’s true that you might have a problem. Unfortunately, the policy statement above doesn’t help you. It says nothing about employees who habitually arrive late to meetings.

If you want to deal with that problem, you need a clear policy statement to that effect. The one above doesn’t cut it. It’s no more than good advice.

More Policy Writing Tips

For more information

You’ll find information on writing titles for policy instruments and many related topics in Respectful Policies and Directives, available at any bookstore.

Perfect offers workshops that help you organize your policy instruments. Contact us for details.


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