Help writing policies and procedures quickly – what to do?

“Help, I need help with policies and procedures tonight, tomorrow or next week.” I hear this phrase all the time. I can’t help but wonder why they didn’t know about “some assignment” before the last day or week. I’ve struggled with this problem for years.

I think the problem lies with the “principal”, which is often someone on a company’s management team. They think it’s easy to write policies and procedures in a day or two. In other words, they take writing policies and procedures for granted. This is far from the truth as it takes experience and great organizational skills to be a good policy and procedure writer. With this said, there is help on the internet, but mostly not in physical bookstores like the Borders down the street.

The good news is that if you need to write one or two policies and procedures, you can get help quickly, but if you need to write full manuals, have good communication, good training, and expect your audience to understand your policies and follow procedures. , then you should buy books from experienced authors to learn how to write good policies and procedures and how to write and implement strong communication and training programs.

This is what you can find on the internet:

  • Books on how to write effective policies and procedures along with sample documents;
  • Canned policy and procedure documents (although I would only recommend this approach in a “real pinch”, be sure to give credit to the author as you can’t take someone else’s work and call it your own if you want your audience to appreciate the content follows
  • Advisors to help you write policies and procedures (although this can be a good route, consultants need to be experienced and are often very expensive and looking for long-term contracts);
  • workshops (although workshops are not often run at appropriate times and again you should look for experienced policy and procedure writers to teach the class, not a consultant or trainer who may not have written more than a dozen policies and procedures. ..you want policy and procedure writers who have written thousands of policy and procedure documents)
  • In summary, the best and quickest way is to find an author who is also an experienced writer of policies and procedures and buy this person’s books. First, see if the author has books that can help you establish the framework for a system of policies and procedures rather than just grammar and/or editing tips. And if you must hire an advisor, make sure that the selected advisor has indeed written at least 500 policies and procedures.