The top 10 HR policies every organisation should have

The top 10 HR policies every organisation should have

hr policies and procedures

Policies are an important part of organisational life. They help establish processes, provide clarity on rules, support efficiency, minimise risk and ensure everyday operations go smoothly. A particularly important policy area is HR and people. When it comes to employment, most companies have a set of policies that relate to different areas of HR such as annual leave, pay & benefits, health & safety, and more. Some of these will make up an employee handbook and should be easily accessible, perhaps on the company’s intranet or HR portal.

However, resource-challenged HR teams can sometimes find it hard to keep these policies up to date and ensure employees can easily find them. In this post we’re going to look at ten of the most important HR policies every organisation should have, and how a solution like Xoralia can help busy HR teams manage their HR policies make them easily accessible for employees.

What are HR policies?

An HR policy is a document or set of statements that sets out an official, standard position relating to HR, people and employment-related processes. It might contain the overall rationale and approach relating to an area of HR such as professional conduct or pay and benefits, and then a more detailed set of procedures and rules. HR policies often come with additional guidelines to help managers and employees to follow them.

Why is it important to have HR policies?

As every HR department knows, it’s critical to have clear, up-to-date HR policies that all employees can access. This is important for several reasons:

  • HR policies help guide employees to carry out the right people-related processes and procedures, helping drive efficiency, consistency and standardisation.
  • HR policies help to define an organisation’s employee value proposition so employees know what to expect and understand all the benefits they experience. .
  • HR policies define professional conduct and expected levels of behaviour to support a safe and optimal working environment. .
  • Policies also establish expectations around performance, to help employees succeed in their role.
  • Having the right policies helps establish a culture of fairness and inclusion, supporting important areas such as Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI). .
  • Policies help managers to make the best decisions in managing their team and also ensures consistency in decision-making. .
  • HR polices ensure an organisation adheres to legal, regulatory and compliance commitments, reducing any associated risks. .
  • Having the right policies also help the HR team to streamline their operations to provide consistency and drive efficiency. .
  • Policies should also support change management within the organisation. .

What are the ten most important HR policies?

Let’s look at ten of the most important HR policy areas where every organisation should have a clear policy available for staff.

1. Pay, benefits and rewards

Policies relating to pay and benefits are always going to a key area, providing information that staff need to access on a regular basis. Policies relating rewards will establish everything relating to salaries and benefits, covering the details around overtime, who is eligible for benefits, processes around salary reviews, any bonus scheme, the company pension scheme, any choices relating to benefits and more.

2. Performance management

Performance management policies help to establish expectations around the performance of employees and provide clarity on processes that are put in place to support performance. This will include annual performance reviews, providing ongoing feedback around performance, details around promotions and any links between performance and rewards. The policy or policies will be a valuable reference point for employees and managers.

3. Professional conduct and disciplinary procedures

Most companies have policies relating to professional conduct and expected levels of behaviour, and will usually be a core part of the “employee handbook”. The policy will also usually detail disciplinary procedures too in the event of misconduct. It might cover specific use cases for certain industries where there are regulations, for example relating to receiving and declaring gifts in financial or professional services.

4. Annual leave and absence

Everyone needs clarity around policies relating to annual leave and absence. A policy in this area could cover elements such as annual leave allowance and how this relates to role and tenure, details of maternity and paternity leave, approaches to volunteering and if a organisation allows for any absence, compassionate leave, sick leave, whether the annual leave allowance rolls over from year to year, and so on. This is a key area where it is essential to have everything written down and where employees and managers can access all the necessary information.

5. Home and hybrid working

Since the pandemic, hybrid and home working have become a common pattern of working. It’s still a relatively fast- moving area with some senior management keen to get more people to return to the office. Having clarity is king and having a policy is valuable. This might encapsulate the expectations of the company relating to hybrid working, the rights of employees to work from home, the level of discretion managers have in defining working patterns for their team and so on. There may also be related processes relating to health and safety at home, working in the office and booking desks.

6. Health, safety and wellbeing

Health and safety at work has been an area where many companies have strict policies for compliance and risk purposes. In particular companies in certain sectors such as mining, utilities and engineering will feature health and safety policies prominently; sometimes the policy may not always be the responsibility of HR, and there will be a separate team. Health and safety can also apply to homeworking, with risk assessments relating to workstations being a legal requirement. Wellbeing is also a related area with HR functions increasingly having policies that better support staff, particularly relating to mental health issues; sometimes a wellbeing policy might be separate to a health & safety policy.

7. Learning and development

Learning and development is central to employee experience. A policy will cover both the expectations and opportunities around learning and development, including areas such as any mandatory training that needs to be carried out, professional training or Continuous Professional Development (CPD), learning for new staff as part of employee onboarding, and optional training, for example around softer skills. A policy may also cover learning budgets.

8. Diversity, equity and inclusion

Diversity, equity and inclusion (EDI also sometimes DI&E) is an important area for many companies with a raft of potential benefits. Many companies support EDI with a range of different measures including support for employee affinity groups and accessibility. The policy could cover a business’s commitment to diversity and inclusion as well as measures that have been put in place. A policy in this area is sometimes shared externally as employers are keen to display their credentials, particularly in relation to recruitment.

9. Recruitment and onboarding

Recruitment and onboarding is another area where there are a complex set of processes with many moving parts, and there is actually like to be more than one policy. Managers will need to know the process around hiring a new person and the details such as role descriptions, interview protocol, involvement from the HR team and so on. Employee onboarding is also very process-led with a set of tasks involving multiple functions required to set up a person with all they need by their first day, and then a programme of learning and engagement to follow. There may also be a policy detailing a referral programme for employees who introduce people they know to fill a position.

10. Whistleblowing

It’s not always considered a core HR policy but actually a whistleblowing policy is very important, helping drive a culture of transparency, reducing fraud and supporting ethical practices. A whistleblowing policy will state an organisation’s approach to whistleblowing and also the process, which usually involves contacting a third party service.

How Xoralia policy management software can help

HR teams tend to have many policies that must be keep up to date and are frequently accessed by employees and managers. Without a comprehensive and consistent approach to policy management there is always the danger of a policy not being kept up to date, multiple versions begin in circulation or employees not being able to find a policy and then continually emailing the HR team, asking for the latest version of a document.

A dedicated policy management solution like Xoralia enables busy HR functions to streamline their approach to managing policies and makes it very easy for employees to find the policy they need. Xoralia achieves this by:

  • Providing one source of truth for HR policies
  • Having an easy-to-access, searchable single library that employees trust to quickly find the right policy
  • Using robust version control to ensure employees only find the latest versions of policy documents.
  • Including policy lifecycle management features such as granular permissions, automated reminders, approval workflow and dedicated reports to help busy policy owners across HR teams keep their policies up to date.
  • Enabling employee attestation features to help notify users about policy changes
  • Supporting personalisation and targeting so the right people can see the right policies, which is particularly useful for global organisations where some HR policies might be location-specific.

Need help with HR policy management? Get in touch!

Managing your HR policies is important and a solution like Xoralia can help. Why not schedule a free demo?

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Find out more about Xoralia policy management software

During the demo, we'll walk you through Xoralia’s various features and functionality, providing plenty of time for you to ask our experts questions along the way.

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Seven common mistakes made in policies and procedures management

Seven common mistakes made in policies and procedures management

Policies and procedures management has never been the most glamorous business activity, but it has continued to prove to be one of the most useful – providing clarity for employees, reducing risks and underpinning efficiency. When employees can find all the policies and procedures they need, it helps them get things done quickly and successfully, and ensures they are following the right processes and making better decisions.

However, not every organisation carries out policies and procedures management as well as they could. Mistakes are common and when this happens it can lead to problems; employees cannot find the everyday policies they need and end up having to contact policy owners and wasting time. Even worse, employees may follow an out-of-date policy or simply ignore a policy that they cannot find, leading to potential risks.

In this article we’re going to explore seven of the most common mistakes made in policies and procedures management and how a solution like Xoralia can help avoid making them.

1. Not actively reviewing and updating policies

One of the main mistakes organisations make is not actively reviewing and updating their policies so they go out of date. This happens surprisingly often – a policy gets written with good intentions, usually to embed a change of rules or to clarify an area where there are particular risks. It might be then placed on the intranet as a useful reference resource. However, when the rules perhaps change – even if only slightly – the original policy never gets updated.

This has two impacts. Firstly, it means people simply don’t follow the right process. A new starter joins, downloads the policy, and will assume that it is up to date. Secondly, many employees realise a policy document is not up to date, so they simply ignore it. This also undermines confidence in whether other policies are up to date too. A central pillar of policy management has to involve actively reviewing and updating policies.

2. Not providing a central access point to browse and search for policies

Most organisations have policies, but they are not always easy to find. In fact, they tend to be distributed across multiple repositories. Some in a Microsoft Teams space. Some spread over SharePoint intranet departmental sites. Some within the HR platform. Some in the IT service platform such as Service Now. Perhaps others on the shared file drive. And some even only available by emailing the right person.

When policies are distributed like this they are very hard to find and access – and in practice people end up ignoring them, using out-of-date versions or relying on email to ask colleagues for policies, which is highly inefficient.

Many of these issues are solved by having a central access point for employees to browse and search for all the different policies they need. This might be available via the intranet or perhaps via a central SharePoint site. By providing one central access point for policies, it means employees can find what the right policy quickly. A core capability of most policy management software like Xoralia is establishing that centrally accessed policy library that employees trust and find useful.

3. Not applying version control

One of the biggest mistakes in managing policies is not properly applying strict version control to policies that are in circulation. When there are multiple versions of the same document floating around it gets very confusing. Employees don’t know which is the latest version and either end up using the wrong policy, or have to contact the policy owner to get sent a version that is up to date.

A variety of different approaches can support version control, including a document management solution like SharePoint or dedicated policy management software like Xoralia. Ensuring each version has an updated number, providing version information within the document itself and ensuring existing versions are replaced, also all help support version control.

4. Failing to communicate a policy change

Often when there is a policy change, its important that employees know about it, as it usually means it is a change of process or rules. But some organisations fail to communicate either that a policy has changed or what the change actually is. Employees who might actually be used to carrying out a process are very unlikely to refer to a policy to check if something has changed; this means that the policy change is effectively worthless as nobody is following it.

Some policy management solutions like Xoralia have features that mean employees to know that a policy ha both changed but also what the change is. These include personalized notifications alerting a user that a particular policy has changed as well as employee attestation processes to confirm that they have read the new policy. In Xoralia you can even ask specific questions so they can confirm they have understood and accept the particular change.

5. Not having clear ownership of policies

Effective policy management requires clarity over who is responsible for keeping each policy up to date. If you don’t have clear ownership of policies, then they simply won’t get updated. People may assume it is the responsibility of somebody else – and when a person leaves a company, then a policy may even get forgotten about.

Every policy needs to have a named individual associated with it who is the clear owner. While a policy might be the responsibility of a department or function, ownership should not be just at the team level. There needs to be an individual who is responsible for keeping a policy up to date and actively manages updates.

6. Making policies hard to understand and find

Policies are there to help employees follow particular processes, complete tasks more easily, reduce risks and make the right decisions. However, some policies are not always easy to follow or understand. This can be down to a variety of reasons:

  • The title of a policy might be wrong or ambiguous so it makes it hard for employees to find
  • A policy may be written more in “legalease” or use specialist language or terms that makes it harder to follow
  • Some policies may be especially hard to follow for employees who are not native speakers of the language the policy is written in – and sometimes it may be necessary to perform a translation.
  • Policies may be too long and the important detail that employees really need to access is hidden inside pages and pages

Although policy management software can’t write your policies for you, it can help you think about structuring them in ways that make it easier for employees to find what they need, so encourages elements such as clear titles, targeting policies to the right audience, and keeping policies shorter and manageable.

7. Mixing global and local policies up

In complex international organisations there will be global policies, but then also regional or local policies that apply specifically to a region or country. This is particularly the case elating to HR processes or where there are differences in using different systems and applications. In companies built up by acquisition, local processes and systems can endure for a long time.

Sometimes when policy management is not rigorously applied it can be difficult to ascertain when a policy is local, regional or global. Sometimes global policies are tweaked to be localised but then not properly renamed. Sometimes an intranet or Microsoft search can return ten versions of the same policy – some global and some local. This means it is very difficult for employees to find the right policy to follow – and it also means that they may question if they use a global policy, whether there is also a local policy they need to find.

When you have global and local policies living side by side, active policy management and the ability to target policies to different audiences based on their location becomes critical.

How policy management software like Xoralia helps

Many of the mistakes mentioned in this article are completely avoidable. Having a dedicated policy management solution like Xoralia can help by:

  • Having a single policy library that is easily accessible via all staff through the intranet or within the Microsoft 365 digital workplace.
  • Having search and intelligent views with custom filters to allow employees to find the policies they need and make it clear what is a global and a local policy.
  • Having strict version control to avoid duplication of policies
  • Delivering content lifecycle management features that will ensure polices are reviewed and updated, and that there is clear ownership for each policy.
  • Ensuring that policies are now findable, visible, and trusted, encouraging policy owners to be more accountable and be more proactive in managing their policies and ensuring they are more readable and actionable.
  • Using personalisation and targeting to ensure that people get a view of policies that have updated and which they must read, as well as access the right regional and local policies relevant to them.
  • Including employee attestation and testing features so employees can confirm they have read an updated policy and also understood it, making it easier to communicate policy changes.
  • And many more!

Need to better manage your policies? Arrange a demo!

When it comes to policy management, organisations can’t afford to make mistakes. If you’d like to see how a solution like Xoralia can help, then arrange a demo!

Book a live demo

Find out more about Xoralia policy management software

During the demo, we'll walk you through Xoralia’s various features and functionality, providing plenty of time for you to ask our experts questions along the way.

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Xoralia appears in ClearBox Consulting’s 2023 Intranet and Employee Experience Platforms guide

Xoralia appears in ClearBox Consulting’s 2023 Intranet and Employee Experience Platforms guide

Xoralia is profiled in the 2023 edition of ClearBox Consulting’s Intranet and Employee Experience Platform guide. Xoralia is the only employee experience product that specialises in policy management to be included in the guide.

The ClearBox guide is recognised as the leading independent product guide to intranet and employee experience platforms and has been praised by digital workplace industry figures like Mark Kashman at Microsoft. The guide has been running since 2016.

With independent reviews written by recognised experts in the field, the latest 2023 guide has now been released. Amazingly, the 772-page guide is free to download and is an essential resource for anybody considering buying an intranet or employee experience product or wanting to keep up to date with what’s happening in the marketplace.

In the guide, the Xoralia profile provides salient details about the product. There is also a “ClearBox view” that describes Xoralia as a “useful digital workplace application that works well alongside a SharePoint-based intranet.”

ClearBox also praises various different elements of Xoralia including the “good variety of reporting available” as well as rich features such as employee attestation process with can be set for any policy and group in the Microsoft 365 environment such as new starters. ClearBox comments “we liked the flexibility in this approach and the possibilities around employee onboarding it provides.”

ClearBox also regards Xoralia as providing a “more user-friendly place than SharePoint libraries” and also making “far more sense than trying to develop an in-house alternative” for businesses requiring stricter governance around their policies.

Want to experience Xoralia for yourself? Then arrange a free demo.

Ten policy management and compliance statistics you need to know for 2023

Ten policy management and compliance statistics you need to know for 2023

Compliance and policy management remains a critical activity for every organisation, particularly in regulated sectors such as financial services and healthcare. At a high-level there are many challenges associated with managing policies and reducing the risk around compliance. These remain, but increasingly policy management and compliance technology solutions like Xoralia are making a difference.

The challenges and role of technology associated with policy management are reflected in various industry statistics, some of which are truly eyebrow-raising. These numbers are useful in:

  • helping compliance and digital workplace teams consider how they can overcome challenges
  • feeding into useful conversations with business stakeholders
  • inserting into a business case for policy management software.

In this post we've gathered ten policy management and compliance statistics for 2023 which we think you'll found interesting. These are all from authoritative sources and while most come from more recent reports, some are a little older but are still valuable.

Here's are ten policy management and compliance statistics you need to know for 2023.

1. Over 41% of organisations list updating policies and procedures as a major compliance challenge

In a survey from Metricstream, organisations were asked to list their top five compliance challenges. Among three of the top four challenges listed were "updating polices and procedures" ,"tracking employee awareness and conducting compliance awareness training" and taking a "manual approach to compliance assessments, control testing and cases", each rated by over 40% of people responding to the survey.

2. 61% of compliance functions say high levels of regulatory change have made them less effective

In Deloitte's State of Compliance Survey, 61% of internal compliance functions said that recent increases in the level of regulatory change had had an adverse impact on the function's ability to perform its role effectively. This was up from 49% in 2020.

3. Between 2011 and 2018 the cost of non-compliance increased by 45%

Although published back in 2018, a report sponsored by Globalscope shows the eye-opening increase in the cost of non-compliance between 2011 and 2018. By benchmarking multinational organisations, the report reveals that the cost of not being compliant has risen by 45%, with a dizzying average cost of $14.22 million for organisations that experience problems. It is very likely that the associated costs are even higher today.

4. The cost of non-compliance is 2.71 times the cost of being compliant

The same report also calculates that cost of being compliant by using the right tools and training is actually 2.71 times the cost of being non-compliant!

5. 51% of internal audit professionals rate compliance and regulatory matters as "high" or "very high" risk

The 2022 edition of an annual survey of internal audit professionals from the US Institute of Internal Auditors found that 51% of them believe that the area of compliance and regulation represents a "high" or "very high" risk to organisations.

6. 69% of executives don't have confidence that current policies will meet future needs

According to Ropes & Gray's Global Risk Management Report, just under 70% of executives fear that their current policies will not meet their needs in the future. Although this statistic is from 2018, it reflects a belief that policy management needs to be ongoing.

7. The global policy management software market will grow to over $3 billion by 2027

More and more organisations are choosing to use software such as Xoralia in order to help manage their policies. In fact, there is now a significant global market for policy management software that is growing at a rapid rate. Analysts Allied Market Research have forecast the global market to reach a value of $USD3.06 billion by 2027, presenting a Compound Annual Growth Rate (AGR) of 15.7% between 2020 and 2027.

8. Over two fifths of risk professionals think technology would help support compliance policy tracking

Many risk and compliance functions are leaning on technology to help them carry out their main activities, but there is always room for improvement. According to a report from ACA Group, 41% of risk and compliance professionals believe that their function would benefit from technology to support compliance policy and activity tracking.

9. 37% of organisations are not leveraging regulatory technology solutions

Compliance and regulatory functions are using Regulatory Technology ("RegTech") solutions such as Xoralia to help organisations meet their compliance obligations. However, there are a sizeable number of compliance teams who are not using RegTech. In Deloitte's State of Compliance Survey, 37% of organisations said they weren't leveraging RegTech with a further 9% saying they were unsure.

10. 95% of organizations have built or are trying to build a culture of compliance

According to Accenture's 2022 Compliance Risk Study (which is based on a survey), 95% of respondents have built or are working on building a culture of compliance throughout their organisation in order to share responsibility for compliance more widely.

Supporting compliance and policy management

The statistics show the continuing challenges around compliance and policy management, but also the positive role technology can play. Xoralia is an example of a solution that is making a real difference for compliance and digital workplace teams in helping them manage their policies by:

  • Enabling all employees to find all policies clearly and simply, supporting compliance processes and creating a culture of compliance
  • Reducing the manual overhead around policy management with automation, allowing busy teams to focus on more value-added work
  • Reducing risk by creating one source of truth – no more duplicate and out-of-date policies
  • Supporting owners to keep their policies up to date and be more accountable
  • Revolutionising policy-related communications and employee attestation processes to underpin compliance.

To get an idea of how Xoralia can help you, book a free demo.

Book a live demo

Find out more about Xoralia policy management software

During the demo, we'll walk you through Xoralia’s various features and functionality, providing plenty of time for you to ask our experts questions along the way.

Book a demo

Xoralia 2.6.0 release notes

Xoralia 2.6.0 release notes

Highlights of this release:

Multi-lingual interface

Opening up Xoralia to organisation with multiple geographical locations and multi-language speakers, our new option for each user to select their desired language will help with ease of system use. The new enhancement allows for any language update from the Microsoft directory, including Spanish, German, French, Italian, and even Mandarin.

Document data history retainment

Documents get deleted by accident, it happens! Documents also get downloaded and deleted intentionally. Also document change their title from time to time. To ensure read history data remains available in the interface to Document Owners at all times, Xoralia has a catch all feature that means if any of the above scenarios arise the documents will automatically be re-recognised by Xoralia provided it is within a 90 day period.

Note, if a document is deleted in SharePoint by accident the user must restore using SharePoint’s own recycle bin if it has been deleted less than 10 minutes. Due to Xoralia and SharePoint’s sync cycle a document re-uploaded too quickly can cause the document ID within SharePoint and Xoralia to conflict as Xoralia won’t have finished processing the removal of the old document.

Also, if you are to re-upload a document to SharePoint and to rename the document immediately, Xoralia will not have synced with the new, reinvented document yet. Please wait 10 minutes to rename the document after uploading to SharePoint.

Dashboard metrics sort order

To ensure usability for each document reader, Xoralia provides a dashboard with a new sort order feature. Sort by Version and Read by date for efficient browsing.

Dashboard recurrence indicator

Every document reader can easily see the difference between a one-time assignment and a recurring assignment via their dashboard. Our new feature prepares each reader for their regular attestations!

Xoralia 2.5.0 release notes

Xoralia 2.5.0 release notes

Highlights of this release:

Xoralia in Teams mobile enabled

The Xoralia in Teams integration has been available for some time, however to make it even easier for mobile users (front-line workers etc) we have also made Xoralia Teams compatible in mobile. Users can browse, view and attest to reading document in Teams on mobile.

Email reminder update

Before, our reminder notifications for end-users to read their document came 30, 15, 7 and 3, 2, 1 and 0 days before the due date, and a final notification is sent the day after the due date. We have since enhanced this functionality so that if the ready by date has passed, the assignee gets chased every 7 days post their lapsed read by date. This is to ensure chasers are sent notifications each week and they are not forgotten.

User dashboard UI enhancements

Average quiz score update includes removed documents

The user dashboard now helps users to understand the calculation of all their average quiz scores over time, so that it includes documents that may longer reside within its original document library.

User dashboard displays failed quiz attempts

Since this release, users can see their pass mark for each attempt at every quiz, whatever their pass mark.

Recurring documents UI in user dashboard

If a document assignment has been set as recurring by the document owner, the document reader will be able to identify the document as recurring, and see the regularity of the recurrence, in their user dashboard

Document viewer upgrade (better quality iFrame/user experience, plus the ability to download or print documents)

The document preview feature now allows for an easier user experience, enabling the user to zoom in and out of documents when reading them on desktop or mobile. This feature also allows users to download and print their documents, or read in accessibility mode.

Other UI changes

Document library sort order

Document libraries are easier to find now in the sort order A-Z. This is particularly beneficial for mobile users.

Document viewer width improved for Document Owners

The Document owner previewer pane is much wider, for a better reading experience when reviewing and assigning documents.

Expired label added to Document Owner pane

Documents that have expired and require review are clearly displayed to the document owner even when assigning documents.

Seven steps to successfully rolling out a new workplace policy or procedure

Seven steps to successfully rolling out a new workplace policy or procedure

From time-to-time organisations will need to introduce a new workplace policy or procedure, or make a significant change to a policy that then needs to be rolled out to employees who need to be made aware about it, and the relative changes involved. For example, recently many organisations have introduced new policies on remote and hybrid working that everybody needs to be aware of. Other areas where policy and policy changes are important can relate to security and compliance, the introduction of new processes, or new ways of working.

Rolling out a new workplace policy is something that requires some planning. You can’t just email out the policy to everybody and hope for the best. Taking a structured approach that follows all a number of different steps helps to ensure the policy is fully disseminated to all employees and that the changes are understood.

In this article we’re going to cover seven steps you need to follow to ensure the successful roll-out of a new workplace or employee policy.

1. Ensure the policy has been agreed upon by all stakeholders

This might sound obvious, but before you roll out the policy you need to make sure that the policy has been properly reviewed and agreed upon by all the necessary stakeholders. In our experience, this is an area which is ripe for misunderstanding, and there is nothing worse than rolling out a policy only to find someone needs to change it.

Getting agreement and consensus on a policy involving multiple stakeholders can be like herding cats, and inevitably some stakeholders will come up with feedback and alterations at the very last moment. People can get very particular on specific wording too. Always double- check and then triple-check that the policy has been finalised and approved by all stakeholders before rolling it out.

2. Create a launch plan with roles and a timetable

Launching a new policy is like a rolling out a marketing campaign or even an IT application. You need to have an overarching launch plan. This will have all the necessary people and roles involved in the roll-out, a detailed timetable and an idea of the main steps involved. Once you have a draft plan in place this then needs to circulated to and agreed upon by all those involved.

Usually having a planning meeting with the launch team giving input will help get them on board, and also finalise any plan.

3. Work on the communications plan too

A key part of any launch plan for a new policy is having a good communications plan to introduce the policy that takes in the desired channels you’re going to use, the right messaging and the diversity of your workforce. This means your plan cover what you are trying to convey, the different audiences you are trying to reach and so on. In working out the plan, the kind of questions that need to be considered might be:

  • What messages are we trying to convey in the campaign?
  • Which channels are we going to use to actually disseminate the policy?
  • What channels are we going to use to communicate about the policy?
  • Do we need to run any training sessions?
  • Do frontline employees have access to the policy and communications about it?
  • Are there any other groups such as contractors who will need to know about the policy but might not have access to key channels?
  • Who is the person, if any, who is fronting the campaign; for example, is your CEO going to put their name behind communications relating to the new policy?
  • Considering the diversity of the workforce and the nature of the policy being launched, do communications and the policy need to be translated into different languages?
  • How long does the campaign last?
  • Do we need to target the messaging and content to different groups detailing what the change in policy means for them?
  • How do we deal with any questions about the policy?

4. Prepare any communications covering the “why” and the “what”

With a campaign plan made, it’s time to create any necessary communications relating to the policy. This could include making a summarized and more digestible version of the policy itself that is more likely to be read and understood than a very long document that is written in “legalease” and risks getting ignored.

Another important approach in preparing communications to launch a new policy is to ensure messaging covers both the “why” and the “what”. Providing the full context and the reasons for introducing the new policy is essential for driving compliance across employees. This then positions the “what” which explains the implications of the new policy for how people work and any required new ways of doing things.

It also helps to prepare managers and team leaders about the campaign, particularly if they are going to be involved in helping to disseminate the policy to their team and then monitoring the related employee attestation process.

5. Prepare the right digital channels

Your launch and communication plan will involve preparing various digital channels to both distribute the policy and also to issue any communications about it. You need to ensure that the channel where the policy is actually housed is something that all employees can access such as your company intranet or an appropriate policy management solution For example, the Xoralia platform seamlessly integrates with your SharePoint Online or Microsoft 365 digital workplace so policies are easily accessed by anybody with a Azure Active Directory ID. Other channels you may leverage for communications could include your intranet, email and Microsoft Teams.

6. Use an employee attestation process

As part of the roll-out of the policy, particularly if it is compliance-related, run an employee attestation process that confirms every employee has read and understood the new policy. This can have two elements; firstly, getting each employee to supply an online confirmation they have read and understood the policy. Secondly, you can also ask questions about the policy using an online quiz to make sure employees have digested it.

In powerful policy management software like Xoralia you can manage the whole employee attestation process from end-to-end, preparing an online confirmation, a quiz if required and using in-built reporting to track who has and hasn’t completed the process. It even includes automated notifications to send out reminders to anyone who has yet to confirm they’ve read the policy.

7. Chase all responses and embed the policy in onboarding

Once the attestation process has kicked off you then need to chase all responses so everybody in your company has confirmed that they have read and understood the policy. Using the very granular reporting on a solution like Xoralia means that managers can follow up with individual team members to ask them to complete the attestation process if required.

After this process, you may need to embed reading the new policy into your company’s standard employee onboarding process, adding it to the list of required reading. Some policy management solutions can help with this; for example, with Xoralia adding a new person to the appropriate Active Directory group when they join can automatically trigger the related onboarding and attestation process for that individual.

Rolling out a new policy

Rolling out a new policy is an important activity that needs to happen from time to time. By following the seven steps detailed above and using a solution like Xoralia, you’ll be able to successfully launch your policy and ensure it has been digested by employees.

If you’d like to discuss how Xoralia can help you roll out policies and procedures, then get in touch!

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During the demo, we'll walk you through Xoralia’s various features and functionality, providing plenty of time for you to ask our experts questions along the way.

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Why you need a central policy hub

Why you need a central policy hub

There is nothing more frustrating than trying to find a work document or piece of information that should be easy to find but proves difficult and time-consuming. Imagine you need to review a particular HR policy to resolve an issue within your team. You’re already pressed for time and trying to get things done, so spending time on a fruitless search can be highly aggravating.

You look on the intranet and on the shared drive without success. You look in your own inbox. Not only are you wasting your time, but it also might be preventing you from completing a particularly pressing task. Even worse, when you do find what seems to be the right HR policy, you’re not even be sure it’s up to date or the latest version. You email a colleague, but they don’t know. You then email a person in HR who you think is responsible for the document, although then they might not know the right person to contact.

For many employees this is the reality of trying to find key policy and procedural documents. Even important policy documents that are fundamental to the way people work are not always easy and obvious to find.

Creating a central policy hub where employees can quickly find every policy they need and know it is the correct version is the best way to avoid this situation. In this post we’re going to explore what a central policy hub is, the kind of challenges it helps overcome, and the benefits it brings.

What is a central policy hub?

A central policy hub is a single area where employees can access a collection of up-to-date policy and procedures and other related controlled documents from across the organisation. This hub will be a centrally controlled library or repository that will include a search facility to enable people to find the policies they need. It will also be easily accessible for all employees, for example integrated into the company intranet.

A central policy hub can be created using a document management solution like SharePoint or through dedicated policy and procedure software like Xoralia, which is based on SharePoint.

What challenges does a central policy hub help solve?

A robust policy hub solution such as Xoralia will help solve most of the associated challenges that come with managing policies in large and complex organisations.

Poor findability

The number one challenge for employees is finding the documents they need. Are they on the intranet? On a shared drive? In an email? On the HR portal or on ServiceNow? And is this the document or version I actually need? When there is poor findability for critical process and procedural documents because they are spread over multiple repositories that some employees may not even have access to, it can be time-consuming to find the right document. Employees may even give up in their search.

Wasting time

When there is poor findability, many employees will ask their colleagues if they know where the document is. If that colleague does not know, they may recommend someone else to ask, and the process gets repeated. Imagine how many times this occurs each day across a large workforce – it’s a total waste of time and drain on productivity. Equally, huge amounts of hours also get lost when people try to carry out searches which end up being unsuccessful.

Managing a large amount of policy documents

Some HR, IT and compliance-related teams have large numbers of process and procedural documents they need to manage. Keeping on top of these, ensuring they are easily disseminated, kept up to date and retiring them when needed, can be both time-consuming and logistically challenging.

Managing multiple stakeholders

Sometimes communications. HR or compliance teams try to organise better access to policies, for example on the intranet. But managing policies and procedures involves working with multiple stakeholders, who may not buy-in the approach or view it as a priority. Sometimes individual policies also need input from multiple stakeholders, all of whom are very busy.

Multiple versions in circulation

When you don’t have one source of truth for policies and procedures, inevitably multiple versions start to go into circulation. People rely on documents they were previously emailed or which they have stored in a local drive, because they know how hard it was to find the policy document in the first place. This has two outcomes. Firstly, employees act on potentially out-of-date policies that may open organisations up to various risks. Secondly, employees have little faith in the documents they find being up to date, so they sometimes check with policy owners.

Global vs local procedures

Some global organisations have both global policies that are relevant to all locations, but then also local policies that need to be applied too. Ensuring employees can access the right global policies as well as specific local policies can be very challenging. How does an employee know when a global or local policy applies to them? Sometimes access to specific local policies also needs to be restricted for risk management reasons, particularly in the HR space.

Making people aware of new policies and procedures

Making employees aware that a new policy and procedure has been issued and that they need to take notice of the change can be very difficult. Policies aren’t the most interesting items to read and it’s hard to get the attention of employees. Moreover, you may need to show an external regulator that a policy has been distributed and understood by employees, particularly if it is compliance-related.

Why you need a central policy hub

Many of the above challenges are solved quickly and in a straightforward way by having a central policy hub. Let’s explore some of the key benefits.

Making policies and procedures accessible for all

Policies and procedures apply to all employees and it’s important that everybody can access them. You can’t expect everybody to adhere to company policies if they cannot easily access the relevant documents. A central policy hub that the entire workforce can easily access is simply the best way to make this happen.

Making content easily findable and searchable

A central policy hub will also have a robust search to make it easy to find a particular policy with appropriate filters, such as viewing by department or subject area. A solution like Xoralia also has custom tagging so you can categorise policies in any way you like. Ideally, you can also integrate your central policy hub with your wider enterprise, intranet or Microsoft search. Making content easily findable and searchable lifts many of the challenges that employees experience in finding what they need.

Supporting version control and lifecycle management

Because a good central policy hub solution will have content appropriate version control built-in as well as lifecycle management tools such as automated review reminders and dedicated views for policy owners for all the documents that they are responsible for, it means many of the challenges associated with managing multiple policies will be gone. This will help policy owners ensure the latest versions of documents are always available and significantly reduce the risk of having multiple versions of policies in circulation.

Working with multiple stakeholders

A central policy hub solution should also allow you to work easily with multiple stakeholders, with clear and granular permissions to ensure different departments are responsible for specific policies, but which all feed into one common place to access them.

Ensuring information is trusted

Because a central policy hub should contain all the latest versions of policies it means that these will be trusted by employees; a central policy hub will encourage people to use policies with confidence.

Saving time

When employees know where to find policies, can search for them easily and have confidence they are the latest versions, it will eliminate much of the time wasted on unsuccessful searching and asking colleagues. Only a central policy hub can successfully save you time.

Establishing accountability

Because a central policy hub works well and is also transparent about who is responsible for each policy, it means policy owners are more accountable for keeping policies up to date. In our experience, this encourages good behaviour across the board.

Meeting complexity around global and local policies

Great policy management software like Xoralia can also use audience targeting to ensure that some documents are only visible to some audiences, and to show the right balance between global and local policies based on a user’s Active Directory profile.

Keeping employees up to date with new policies

A central policy hub also may have features that allow you to alert employees to new policies. Xoralia has a mature employee attestation feature that means employees can confirm they have read, agree and understand a policy, with automated reporting and notifications to drive adoption and show third party regulators your progress.

You need a central policy hub

Managing and disseminating policies can be challenging but a central policy hub goes a long way to overcoming many of the associated challenges. Why not book a demo of Xoralia to see what a central policy hub looks like in action?

Book a live demo

Find out more about Xoralia policy management software

During the demo, we'll walk you through Xoralia’s various features and functionality, providing plenty of time for you to ask our experts questions along the way.

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How to manage document reviews and version control

How to manage document reviews and version control

There are many ways in which you can utilize SharePoint’s version control functionality. However, in order for Xoralia to work correctly and to get the best reporting out of Xoralia our recommended process is as below.


Important notes:

Don't include version numbers within document titles, such as “[Document title] v1.0” or “[Document title] June 2022”, as this dilutes the importance of the document title and also suggests that you may be keeping multiple iterations of the same document within a SharePoint document library.

Our requirement is that you keep one document per policy/procedure, and it’s content changes as per its lifecycle - but with the same document title (retaining its SharePoint document ID). The only change to the document records within SharePoint (excluding the content) is that the Document Version metadata column is updated at an appropriate time as to when the document content itself is updated (and perhaps sent for review). When up-versioning a document by using the drag and drop functionality within Xoralia, the document title must be the same and you must overwrite the existing document within the document library in order to keep the assignments within Xoralia active and to create a rolling read record history.

If you delete a document from its document library, then upload a new document (even with the same document title) SharePoint considers this a new document and gives it a new Document ID, therefore the assignment records and read history will no longer display within Xoralia.

There’s no need to worry when it comes to losing old document version and its content. The back-end of SharePoint is powerful and previous document iterations can always be found using the Version history feature under the Document epilepsies. You can restore old versions of documents using this tool.

See example document below that has been assigned to and read by a document reader in Xoralia. The version the users has read is Leavers procedure, version 2.7 (July 2022).

However, if a new version of the document is uploaded (and overwrites the previous document in the SharePoint library) the new version is displayed in Xoralia. Note document title MUST be the same to enable this functionality and audit history within Xoralia.

If the user is expected to re-read the document due to the up versioning, the document owner will need to mark the user as unread using the ‘mark as not read’ functionality. This will automatically send a notification to the user to re-read the document. Once they then re-read the document, all history will be stored in Xoralia.

How to assign yourself or others as Document Owners

How to assign yourself or others as Document Owners

To be a Document Owner means the user will be able to assign the document to a user or groups to read in Xoralia. The metadata field that drives these permissions can be found in SharePoint. First, navigate to your SharePoint site and document library associated with Xoralia. You should see three columns which drive the access and data displayed in Xoralia, Document Contact, Document Owner and Document Version. Edit these columns using grid view.

The Document Owner column is a People Picker field. Select as many Document Owners as you need within your Active Directory to manage the document within Xoralia. Giving people the Document Owner permission means they will be able to set expiry dates, assign documents, set read by dates and access document read history in Xoralia.

Exit grid view once done, then wait a few minutes for Xoralia to sync and pull through the new permission level.

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