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Policy Rollout 101: Effectively Communicating Policy Changes to Employees

March 08, 2018

It’s a new year for your company, possibly with a new business plan, new legislative requirements to meet, or even new management. All of these things and more can result in policy changes. While most people aren’t terribly excited about creating or updating policies, changes to policy are often necessary to keep your business up to date with legislation and best practices. So once these policies have been completed, what is the best way to communicate these policies to staff?

While some sort of elaborate policy parade announcing the new policies may be out of the question, you want to make sure that your employees are aware of policy changes and also understand them. Otherwise, all of your hard work will not only go unnoticed, but you might create more work for yourself when you have to constantly explain policy changes to staff who were unaware or misinformed. It may seem easy to implement policies without adequately informing employees, thinking that you are saving yourself from multiple headaches down the road. Unfortunately, if employees are not properly informed of policy changes, they are likely not going to abide by them.

Trying to enforce workplace policies is difficult if employees have never been told about a policy or they haven’t had an opportunity to ask questions and get clarification. This is also true if you provided the policies, but failed to collect proof that your staff reviewed the content. If you are challenged, it is extremely important that you have the evidence to back up your claim that the employee was informed. When a policy affects the employees, such as a change in vacation or sick days, they also have the right to know about it and what it means to them specifically. This is particularly true if it is a change in a current policy and you are required to provide notice. Even beyond the legal mess it could create, there is also a basic issue that employees who don’t feel there is proper transparency and communication from management may be less engaged at work and develop resentment towards management and their employer. So what is the best way to inform staff of changes or updates to policy?

Download our FREE Policy Rollout 101 Guide to learn how you can communicate policy changes to ensure staff not only read the policy and understand it, but also how to communicate to everyone that you value transparency and honesty.

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