How automated policy management software can benefit your business
Policy management is an important area for many organisations, particularly those in highly regulated industries. It reduces risk, enables decision making, ensures you have robust reporting processes in place, drives efficiency, reduces accidents and more.
Employees need to have easy access to policies, be able to find what they need quickly and easily, and understand when there have been changes. Meanwhile policy owners need to keep their policies up to date, be confident that changes have been understood, and sometimes report on this for compliance purposes.
All of the above might sound straightforward, but it can take a lot of coordination and effort, particularly when everyone is extremely busy. It only takes one out-of-date policy in circulation to create risks with a range of potential negative outcomes. Understandably, many organisations decide to invest in policy management solutions like Xoralia that help them to establish a central policy library, carry out employee attestation process, support policy owners to manage their content and more, while significantly reducing the effort and time taken.
An essential key feature of a solution like Xoralia is its automation, that saves both huge amounts of time but also ensures that policy owners don’t forget to carry out aspects of policy management. In this post we’re going to explore why automation is so important in robust policy management software, and how it benefits a business.
Problems with traditional policy management
One of the problems with traditional policy management is that is has tended to be carried out manually, usually using email and spreadsheets. For example, a central compliance or policy team might have to:
- Email policy owners to remind them to update or review a policy.
- Use email to ask individuals to confirm they have read and understood a policy (“employee attestation”), and then send follow-up emails until they have confirmed they have done so, or send these via managers.
- Use a spreadsheet to monitor compliance reporting relating to an employee attestation process.
- Use email and spreadsheets to monitor compliance reporting and employee attestation around policies for new starters, which may differ from group to group.
As anyone who has used email and spreadsheets for policy management, employee attestation and compliance reporting, they can confirm that it is a significant undertaking and administrative burden that:
- wastes huge amounts of time which could be spent on more value-added activities.
- is highly inefficient and prone to errors, with areas being missed.
- significantly increases the risk of policies going out of date or more than version of a policy being in circulation.
- makes it harder to complete an employee attestation process and successfully report on it.
- is extremely frustrating and tedious for the teams involved.
- leads to less targeted efforts around policy management and attestation – for example aimed at specific groups within the organisation – as they are simply too difficult and time-consuming to manage.
- weakens the ability of central compliance and policy teams to influence distributed policy owners.
- leads to inconsistent approaches to policy management across an organisation.
The advantages of using an automated system
The digital workplace provides huge opportunities to automate workflows and basic, repetitive tasks. Workflow engines such as Power Automate and Nintex are evolving as “low code no code” platforms that mean even non-IT professionals can create simple automation. Specific products including policy management solutions like Xoralia are also embracing automation.
Policy management is an area where there are multiple opportunities for automation, with several advantages.
Policy management involves multiple repetitive tasks that are very time-consuming. Chasing up on employee attestation processes. Reminding policy owners to update their policies. Notifying new starters about the policies they must read. All these can be automated, saving huge amounts of time for administrators who can then focus their efforts om more valuable and less tedious tasks.
When everything is done manually, it leads to errors. People get missed and don’t have access to the right policy. Employee attestation processes aren’t complete. A policy doesn’t get updated. When you use automation, it reduces the chance of these simple but potentially damaging errors.
Bringing automation to policy management helps standardise processes across different policy owners who might sit in different functions. It helps to bring a more robust approach to keeping policies up to date.
Completing the gaps for compliance and certification
As automation brings a more reliable and through approach to employee attestation processes it can provide better reporting for compliance and certification purposes, not only in the actual report, but also if you are letting a third-party regulator or certification body about how you approach employee attestation.
Automating policy management in Xoralia
Xoralia is built on SharePoint and takes advantage of the powerful workflow features within Power Automate to automate several aspects of policy management, allowing you to “set and forget” so your team can focus on more value-add activities. Xoralia’s automation focuses on three main areas.
Assignment for new joiners and leavers
Many of your policies will be assigned to different groups. When a person joins a group, they will automatically be assigned to that policy and get any notifications. This is particularly valuable for employee onboarding, as if you have a policy set for a new starter group, a new joiner will automatically be assigned and notified about the policies they need to read as part of your overall onboarding programme.
Recurring assignment notices
The need for employees to read policies is sometimes a recurring event. Sometimes for compliance, regulatory or professional reasons employees need to confirm annually they have read and agree to follow certain policies. The ability to set automatic policy notifications on a recurring basis is one of Xoralia’s most popular automation features, with the ability to set a number of days between reassignment. For example, this could be 90 days (quarterly), 365 days (annually) or any set time period – it is up to you.
Employee attestation processes can involve a lot of chasing people up if done manually. Xoralia’s automation avoids this time-intensive task by automatically sending out notifications and reminders until the employee attestation process is complete. If you do want to remind someone manually, automatic reporting also can show who has yet to read or electronically sign a policy.
Want to automate aspects of policy management? Arrange a Xoralia demo!
Automation brings efficiency and accuracy to policy management. Xoralia is a policy management solution that uses automation to deliver value.
If there are aspects of managing your policies that could be automated, then why not arrange a free Xoralia demo?