P&P Policies and Procedures Consulting
P&P Policies and Procedures Consulting

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The Policies & Procedures Authority – The newsletter about the art of transforming workplace learning and performance through Policies & Procedures Communication

What’s Causing the Popularity of Policies & Procedures?

– Raymond E. Urgo


Statements, such as the following, are more commonly heard in today’s workplace:

  • Our key people are planning to retire in a few years—that’s critical operational knowledge going out the door.
  • For purposes of compliance, we need up-to-date operating practice information available on our intranet.

These quotes imply that policies and procedures (P&P) is a critical resource that holds promise in addressing critical workplace learning and performance needs. These needs cast a new light on the role of P&P in today’s organizations.

What’s causing the buzz of interest in P&P? Here are five trends that contribute to the growing popularity.

Retiring baby boomers

Long-time managers, directors, and professionals in the U.S. baby-boom generation are expected to retire in the next few years. According to a report by Deloitte Consulting, employers can expect to lose one-third of their workforces by 2010; and 40 percent of managers will be eligible to retire by that year. Therefore, employers are investing in P&P documentation projects as a means of transferring the current generation’s organizational practice knowledge to the succeeding generation.

Ethics and compliance

Regulatory compliance requires documented P&P, especially for companies seeking ISO (International Organization for Standardization) certification. More recently, U.S. companies need documented P&P to comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation concerning financial controls in publicly held companies. With increasing globalization and workforce diversity, businesses are implementing ethics programs with P&P to promote standard practices of integrity, especially if that integrity can be interpreted in different ways.

Workforce training

The increasing rate of workforce turnover, along with changes in organizational structures and processes, are causing a greater need for cross-training and “just-in-time“ self-learning about how to perform work properly and efficiently. With the application of the principles of good instructional design, P&P provides the right information for self-paced learning and ongoing reference. This, in turn, reduces the need for classroom training and additional materials.

Knowledge economy

Organizations are beginning to evolve from the maturing era of information to the dawning era of learning and knowledge. An organization with a highly developed learning and knowledge capacity can expect to have a competitive advantage. Astute leaders of formal knowledge management endeavors are implementing codified P&P as a means to efficiently manage and communicate knowledge as an important organizational resource.

Electronic communication

The availability of intranets and inexpensive software applications for hosting and managing P&P content are providing new credibility to the perception that P&P provides value in organizations. Binders of printed and often obsolete P&P content that once collected dust on shelves are fading away. Online or electronic P&P content is now available on the user’s desktop terminal or handheld device for easier access and provides ease in updating the latest information. For the first time, management can easily monitor P&P content usage.

In upcoming issues, The Policies & Procedures Authority will address each of these trends in depth.

Contact Urgo & Associates today to to explore how policies and procedures communication can support the trends affecting your workplace learning and performance needs.