How to Introduce New Policies and Procedures to Ensure Employee Buy-in
When an organization needs employees to handle certain situations in a consistent way, developing written procedures and policies can help outline those steps. There may be government regulations or laws that need to be followed. Or, maybe you just need to ensure fair treatment for everyone involved. Then there are just the procedural changes that you believe will help your processes run smoother and increase productivity. Regardless of the reason, putting the process in writing is only the first step. The second step is how you decide to introduce new policies to your employees.
Your organization’s policies and procedures can only be effective if you make sure employees read and understand them. Whether you work in HR, or are a manager in another department, it is crucial that you work together to create a united front. If employees see any kind of management divide over new policies, they will probably resist and grumble about them at best, and reject doing them at worst.
Here are nine ways to introduce new policies and procedures that can increase the odds of a smooth transition:
- Introduce new policies at an employee meeting
- Have an employee who was part of the development or review process present the new policy or procedure
- Place a notice where all other required notices are posted
- Announce a contest or giveaway whenever changes are made
- Distribute change and update notices
- Ask each employee to sign off that they have received a copy
- Incorporate them into employee training and development
- Highlight at least one policy and procedure at every training and development session
- Include them at new employee orientation; formally review all policies and procedures with every new employee
As with any change, expect some people to be great supporters of the new policies and procedures and others to be more resistant. The resistant ones are that way because of fear. Their fears might include loss of control, being out of the loop or more work and responsibility. To help alleviate fears and increase cooperation, consider the following:
- Explain the short-and long-term benefits
- Expect behavior change to be gradual
- Provide reminders
- Provide resources to make the transition easy
- Involve representatives from every department from the onset
- Find champions and ask for their support
- Consider phases of implementation
- Talk in terms of how much easier their work will be on an individual basis
- Devise a system to communicate new additions or changes to the process to all users
Remember that even positive changes at work cause stress among workers. However, following the steps above should help keep YOUR stress to a minimum.