Procedures & Policies are like a seatbelt, annoying but necessary

by | Mar 22, 2023 | 0 comments

In the professional world, procedures and policies are a necessary evil. They are the backbone of any successful organization, ensuring that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals. But let’s be honest, they can be a bit dry and boring.

Let’s dive into some of the upsides and downsides of procedures and policies.

Consistency – Procedures and policies ensure that everyone is following the same rules and principles. This helps to create a sense of order and predictability within the organization and helps to ensure consistency in quality and output.

Efficiency – Having established procedures and policies means that tasks can be completed quickly and efficiently. Employees know what is expected of them and can get on with the task at hand and save time and money for the organization.

Compliance – Procedures and policies are often created to ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements and ethical standards. By following these procedures, an organization can avoid legal issues and fines.

Safety – Many procedures and policies are put in place to ensure the safety of employees and customers. This can include everything from workplace safety rules to food handling procedures.

Training – Procedures and policies can serve as a training tool for new employees. By having clear instructions and guidelines in place, new hires can quickly get up to speed on how things are done in the organization.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the downsides of having procedures and policies in place.

Bureaucracy – Too many procedures and policies can create a bureaucratic nightmare. When there are too many rules to follow, it can be difficult to get anything done.

Inflexibility – Sometimes, procedures and policies can be too rigid. This can lead to situations where employees are unable to adapt to changing circumstances.

Restrictiveness – Following procedures and policies can sometimes stifle creativity and innovation. Employees may feel like they are unable to think outside the box and come up with new ideas.

Complexity – Overly complicated policies and procedures can be difficult to understand and follow, leading to frustration and mistakes.

Resistance – Employees may resist following procedures and policies that they perceive as unnecessary or burdensome. This can create tension within the workplace and lead to noncompliance.

Let’s face it, procedures and policies can be a bit dry and boring. But sometimes, they can be downright funny. Here are a few examples:

Dress code policies – We’ve all seen those dress code policies that are so strict, they could rival a military uniform. No sandals, no shorts, no visible tattoos, no caps and hats, nails only in beige… the list goes on. While these policies are meant to maintain a professional appearance, they can sometimes be a bit over the top.

Email policies – Some organizations have email policies that are so strict, they seem to be written in another language. No emojis, no exclamation points, no personal emails… it’s enough to make you want to go back to using carrier pigeons.

The “No Food in the Office” Policy – Because apparently, we’re all grown adults who can’t be trusted to eat without making a mess.

The “Must Use Blue Ink” Policy – Because nothing says “professionalism” like being forced to write in a specific color.

“The policy says we can’t do that.” – This is a phrase that can be heard all too often in the workplace when an employee is hesitant to make a decision or take action due to a strict policy.

“We’ve always done it this way.” –  This phrase is often used as a defense against changing a procedure or policy, even if it’s no longer effective or relevant.

In conclusion, despite the occasional absurdity of workplace policies and procedures, they do serve a purpose and are an essential part of any organization. They help ensure that organizations run smoothly and that everyone is on the same page. By finding a balance, organizations can reap the benefits of procedures and policies without succumbing to their drawbacks. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun with them along the way. So, next time you’re reading through a procedures and policies, keep an eye out if there are the funny bits to smile a bit to easier get through reading.

About the Author

Jelica Radović

Senior HR professional with strong experience in the field of human resource management.

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