CAFM Program materials make clear that the foundation for developing effective policies is to bring the stakeholders in the organization together and develop key organization policies. These include such components as: mission; organizational philosophy (including beliefs and commitments); aims, objectives and strategies; and determining priorities for policy development during the coming 12 months.
Next should comes a consultative process that includes the following key elements: identifying areas for policy development; brainstorming the issues involved, with a focus on naming the issues, not necessarily attempting to resolve the issues; having a person assigned to preparing a policy draft; and circulating the draft is for comments.
Following this, there needs to be a review process wherein a committee or the original policy developers meet to go over the policy and any comments and suggestions, and then amend, revise or improve the draft. This step should be repeated if necessary.
Once a policy draft is finalized, it should be forwarded to the board/management committee for approval. Once accepted, the new policy needs to be incorporated into the company’s policy and procedures manual. Following this, the policy should be distributed and communicated to all employees, especially those who are impacted by it, and when necessary, training provided to ensure all appropriate staff has the knowledge and skills to implement the new policy.
The CAFM Program curriculum teaches putting the date on which the policy was agreed within the new policy, as well as adding a sunset clause or a statement saying the date on which the policy must be reviewed. Any policy should be a “living document,” subject to change. Existing policies need to be revised and augmented as a company and business conditions change.
A staff meeting or a board/management committee meeting ought to be held once every 12 months to look at the policy and organizational manual and ask whether the policies in it are still relevant and appropriate, recommends the CAFM Program curriculum. If not, a process like the aforementioned one should be followed to revise existing policy or develop new policy.
Some business management authorities note that many documents stating a company’s policies simply define the course of action but don’t give any reason or explanation for the policy. Knowing the reason can be a help in having policies adhered to, they say. Policies may be misunderstood, and as years pass, the reasons for writing the policies may be forgotten.
Moreover, they say including the rationale can assist future managers in understanding the thinking behind the policy. If conditions change and the rationale is no longer valid, it is then possible to change the policy, using a new rationale. This will prevent getting into the “We’ve always done it that way” mentality, without knowing why or if that way is really valid anymore.
Along with making sure rules and regulations are followed, a company’s policies become a framework for consistency and fairness. Polices define management’s standards for making decisions on various personnel and organizational issues. Having clearly defined procedures and standards created from polices that are well thought out, express the company’s intent to make consistent and even-handed decisions, and that helps with employee behavior, motivation and longevity.
The shops contribution to the overall success of an organization is significant. A professionally managed shop and fleet can control costs, provide valuable information to top management and minimize time-consuming problems, thus enabling everyone to perform their function effectively. An effective policy and organizational manual will dearly define one’s professional approach to their management responsibilities.