In this Session, you have learned about: The principles, policies and procedures of your organisation How your organisation communicates its principles to employees Your organisation’s policies and codes of practice Consultations on changes to principles, policies and procedures Issues of public concern relating to your industry and organisation.
Principles, policies and procedures
Principles are the foundation of a system of beliefs within an organisation. Principles are the philosophy of the organisation, illustrating how the organisation ‘thinks’. A policy is a definite course of action adopted by an organisation, which guides employees and helps them put principles into practice. Customer service policies are similar in many organisations, but some may be tailored to fit your organisation’s specific principles. A procedure is a series of steps to be followed to correctly answer the telephone, deal with complaints, give refunds etc. Organisations tend to have their own specific procedures.
Communicating principles to employees
An organisation may communicate its principles to employees in the following ways:
The recruitment process
Group discussions Appraisals and feedback Improving team performance
Principles may be worked into the recruitment process. Interviewees asked about the organisation’s principles. Organisation handbook and vision statement include principles. This may be the first thing new recruits learn about the organisation. Printing out principles and posting them in the office ensures they feature in every employee’s day. Principles could be printed on commonly used items. Hearing principles read out is more effective for some. Managers and team leaders remind employees of principles. Discussion of whether an employee adheres to principles may be part of a formal review. Company awards are used to publicise principles. Company away-days and team-building exercises are opportunities to remind employees of principles. Team-building tasks could be centred on principles.
Policies and codes of practice
A code of practice is a set of written rules or standards outlining the responsibilities of, or proper practices for, an employee or organisation. An industry-wide code of practice is often defined by a trade association or professional body. Policies tend to be written by an organisation and based on an industry-wide code of practice. Your organisation might make you aware of its policies or code of practice by: Publishing the code of practice/policies on their website or the intranet Emailing updates to the code of practice and policies to all employees Including the code of practice and policies in the organisation handbook Basing appraisals or feedback systems around policies / code of practice Indicating the trade association/professional body who wrote the code of practice.
Consultations on change
If you are consulted on changes, your opinion is considered by those making the decision. Ways to consult employees on changes to principles, policies and procedures include: Small group meetings (face-to-face or via a video conference) Questionnaire Discussion with line manager/team leader Intranet bulletins or a FAQ page Email Team bulletins Monthly newsletter Letter A trade union/employee representative or staff council.
How you are consulted depends on the size and structure of your organisation, employee work practices and the information being communicated. If your organisation has 50+ employees, you have the right to request an Information and Consultation arrangement.
Issues of public concern
Issues of public concern relating to your industry or organisation could include: Product recall and customer safety – is your product/service safe and reliable? Confidentiality – do you store customer information securely? Accessibility – is it easy to contact your organisation/use your services? Quality – is product/service equal to competitors? Responsiveness – how quickly will you respond to a customer and resolve problems? Value customers – do you value your customers and treat them appropriately?
Finances – are accounts transparent and investments ethical? Wider concerns – public health, economy, environment, exploitation of workers etc. Your organisation may deal with issues of public concern by: Establishing stringent testing and health and safety processes Ensuring varied and easily accessed means of communicating with the organisation Investing in public relations to communicate effectively with the public Establishing clear customer service policies, making them available to the public and ensuring that staff adhere to these policies Publishing the organisation’s accounts Publishing a code of practice relating to the organisation’s economic, ethical, environmental responsibilities etc.
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