“Removing Roadblocks on Your Path to Success”
Policies and Procedures – “It’s in the Manual”
As a reminder, we would like to invite you to our next gathering of the Marin Business Forum:
Who: John Stayton, Director and Co-founder of Venture Greenhouse, and MBA Professor in Sustainable Enterprise (GreenMBA) for Dominican University
What: Collaborative Entrepreneurship: How Networks of Small Companies Can Do Big Things
When: Thursday, September 20th, 5:00 p.m.
Where: 80 E Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Larkspur (adjacent to the Ferry Terminal)</>
Please RSVP at: www.marinbusinessforum.com
We look forward to seeing you there.
Thinking back from our experience as a collaborative partner with many successful businesses, it has become evident that in order to be successful, the business needs to concentrate on strategic issues and let the routine tasks of running day to day activities take care of themselves. Since routine tasks do not always take care of themselves, they need to be part of a well established process that keeps the organization running smoothly and defines back office operations, and subsequently the corporate culture. In order for employees to operate and perform independently, they require adequate tools and training.
This is where policies and procedures come into play. If your business has the correct policies and procedures in place, they can execute routine tasks quickly and consistently, without much supervision. There are three basic steps to approaching policies and procedures:
1.Understand them: Policies identify key activities that drive day-to-day operations and provide a general strategy on how to handle routine functions. They form a mini mission statement with a stated purpose, target user, and metrics to determine if they are effective. Procedures are the means to achieve the tasks outlined in the policies, offering a codified means of accomplishing operations tasks in a way that is trainable and transferrable. When you have the right policies and procedures in place, your organization is more likely to succeed.
2.Write them down: Once you align your policies and procedures with operational objectives, capture them so the information is accessible to everyone, and there is no room for question or error. Consistent performance is the result of good documentation, and solid training.
3.Train your team: Once you have your policies and procedures established and written down, train your team to use them. Your staff should be able to use the written manual as guideline to execute any routine tasks. If they can’t, then the procedures manual is incomplete and it needs to be revised, and the staff need more training. A good training process enables everyone to understand their role and also identifies gaps in the procedures that may need to be addressed. Checklists and simple reporting mechanisms keep items on track, and discover holes in the procedures.
We work with a number of clients, helping them identify their strategic objectives and refine their operations with well-thought-out policies and procedures. They make all the difference and are the foundation for lasting success.
March 2011 Newsletter
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