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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

Forgotten Media for Communicating Policies & Procedures

– Raymond E. Urgo

Introduction

Mention the words, “media for communicating policies and procedures (P&P),” and most people automatically think of printed bound manuals or binders, electronic document files on a server or intranet, or content on a Web site. Although these media are popular and often formal in nature, let’s not forget that there are other types of media that organizations may use to communicate their P&P.

Person-to-person speaking

The oldest and most common means of communicating P&P is person-to-person speaking—often called “tribal talk”. Examples include a supervisor teaching a subordinate the procedure for entering a sales order at a terminal, peers at the water cooler discussing how the company processes tuition reimbursements, and a sales representative informing a customer via the telephone about the refund policy for returning products. Person-to-person speaking is the most informal way to convey P&P to others.

Recorded announcements

Repetitive voice recorded announcements are often used to communicate P&P to the public. Examples include the recorded announcements in subway stations and airport terminals to inform the public about such policies as not to leave packages or baggage unattended, how to report suspicious activity, or that smoking or parking in designated areas is strictly forbidden.

Automated voice response systems (AVRS)

An AVRS is the combination of a telephone switching system and a computer expert system that offers callers a series of menus from which to select information. An AVRS is useful for communicating P&P when similar questions are asked by large numbers of people. For example, citizens summoned for jury duty may be required to call in during specified hours to learn when and where to report for service or to find out about policies the may affect selected jurors. A major health maintenance organization may use an AVRS to respond to requests from its thousands of members seeking P&P information about healthcare benefits, facility operations, or services.

Visual-sound devices

Organizations use videos, DVDs, and other visual-sound devices to convey P&P. One company uses a DVD to demonstrate its policy about acceptable and non-acceptable behavior in the workplace. Another company uses a DVD to teach the procedures for safely operating a piece of equipment.

Signage

Throughout the workplace, organizations post signs to communicate their P&P. For example, typical signs include “Carpool Only” placed in some parking structures; “Employees Must Wash Hands” in a restaurant’s restroom; and “Pool Rules” in a hotel’s pool area. Posting P&P is often required by law for purposes of health, safety, and fair employment. Several organizations develop and post custom-designed posters to remind employees about quality policies, workflow processes, and customer service standards.

Conclusion

In conclusion, manuals or electronic documents are not always the only ways to communicate P&P. Other types of media are often forgotten as part of the P&P communication system.


Contact Urgo & Associates for ways to best communicate your policies and procedures for workplace learning and performance.