Writing effective and efficient Policies & Procedures-Part 2

by todaystrainingblog

Media Contact

                Do you have a company spokesman? The smaller your company, the chances are you don’t. Therefore you need to write a policy and procedure for dealing with the media if something unforeseen occurs to the business.

The likeliest candidate for the job as spokesman is the owner/President, Vice President, or General Manager. But what if they aren’t available i.e. vacation, conferences, sick, and etc., then what? You need to have clearly delineated policies as to who can and can’t talk to the media during a crisis. The last thing you need is for someone, not with company management say something wrong, and then have the media run away with it as verified and truthful.

You can’t stop employees from using social media in this age of connectivity. But you can control the message that is getting out and turn it to your advantage & dispel rumors. But in this instance the spokesman needs to be as truthful as possible.

Zero Tolerance

One of the biggest buzz words in the business world. Most businesses have it wrong and continue to get it wrong every single time they utilize this to justify any number of actions. And it is also used to terminate problem employees without listening to both sides.

You have to use common sense with using this policy. Should you allow weapons into your business? More than likely no. But does this mean you need to suspend, discipline, or terminate someone for violating the policy? Not necessarily. At least not without an investigation.

Zero tolerance is like the blanket policy I talked about during disciplinary actions. If you make such a blanket statement, then the company and you as the HR person could be opening yourself up to a lawsuit for wrongful termination. And at the very worse, for the employee to return with a firearm. And at the very best an employee who is back to work, but not ready to trust management and ‘infecting’ the rest of the staff with that mistrust.

Physical Security

This could be nearly as big as the rest of the manual combined, but then again I’m biased. And you should consult with your security manager or hire a consultant to ensure that it is effective and efficient. Mainly because do you want a mechanical engineer writing the HR policies? Probably not, therefore you need to get the input from the individual responsible for security.

But every single part of your physical security program (PSP) should be outlined in this section of the P&P. And because it can be so very difficult to outline these items, a couple of suggestions for you to get started with;

  1. Start with the post orders you have given your security staff. If you followed my recommendations from a few weeks ago, then each of those sections needs to be broken down with a policy written for it. From access control to trucks entering, departing, deliveries, and the like.
  2. Ensure that all aspects of the program are detailed in both a policy and procedure. Do you need a policy for everything? No, but a procedure for everything is mandatory.
  3. At any time, for any reason, if your policies and procedures change for the PSP, then the paper needs to be rewritten and replaced in the manual. Don’t allow red, blue, black, or other marks to be utilized for expediency.

Emergency Procedures

I won’t go into a great deal of detail on this one, because I’ll be writing a post in the next few months on writing a disaster recovery plan (DRP). But suffice to say that every possible disaster should be considered and a policy & procedure written for it.

But again, you have to use common sense. Do you need to write a contingency for hazardous chemicals if you have none on property? No, you don’t. Likewise, you don’t necessarily need to write a procedure for a tornado in Arizona or California. The chances are that it is a very unlikely event.

Will you think of every single possible outcome and inevitability that may arise when putting them into effect? If you do, then you’ll have a manual that is as thick as the IRS manual of tax laws, rules, & regulations for the United States (presently 75,000 pages). So that answer is no, it would be far too unwieldly to use.

But you have to be able to use your own common sense & brain power when utilizing the P&P with employees. Just like the law of unintended consequences, when spouting’ the company line about something that doesn’t allow for any human compassion or rational thinking. No matter how you’re trying to avoid it.

And another point here is that if you have multiple locations across the country or globe, you need a different P&P manual for every country or location. The laws are different in the state of New York than they are in Wyoming or Singapore. Therefore simply using the same policies & procedures for every location is not practical.

Have your legal staff, or hire a consultant, to examine your P&P manual and make recommendations for revisions in each locale. This will allow you to keep them as close as possible to each other, so that no glaring disparities appear. And lastly, use that time worn acronym, KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid).

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent 32 years in the security field. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many. Here you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.

                                                          I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear