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Policies and Procedures

Challenges in Maintaining Certifications

Certifications are a mark of achievement for companies, signifying their commitment to quality, safety, and compliance with industry standards. Yet, the real challenge often arises after the initial accreditation process – the challenge of maintaining and managing policies and procedures.

The Challenge After Accreditation

After successfully achieving certification, companies face the critical task of ensuring that everyone within the organization remains aligned with the established policies and procedures. This process presents two primary challenges:

Dissemination Across the Organization

The first challenge is effectively disseminating these policies and procedures across the entire organization, making them easily accessible for reference.

Currently, organizations often rely on a cumbersome system of physical documents. They print multiple copies and distribute them to different departments for easy access. The difficulty lies in consistently printing and updating these physical documents, leading to a lack of real-time access and frequent obsolescence. Some organizations opt for Google Drive as a digital alternative. However, the limitation of Google Drive becomes evident when trying to search for specific documents and their contents efficiently.

Managing the Complete Lifecycle

The second challenge is managing the complete lifecycle of these policies and procedures. This includes updates, revisions, and tracking expiration dates.

Currently, document owners often find themselves in a manual and time-consuming process. They must personally route documents for approvals, sometimes waiting for physical signatures, which can lead to delays. Document owners must also check regularly to ensure that documents have not expired or require renewal. This manual oversight can be both resource-intensive and prone to human error. Email is often used for document routing and revision, resulting in a back-and-forth process that can be inefficient and challenging to track effectively.

Microsoft Word & Google Docs

The Digital Transformation Dilemma

Managing these challenges digitally is critical in today’s fast-paced business environment, especially when dealing with paper processes. Attempting to manage policies and procedures in a digital landscape with basic tools like Microsoft Word, Google Drive, and email is often inadequate. (Been there, done that) This digital transformation dilemma often exacerbates the challenges, as paper-based processes are not only inefficient but also environmentally unfriendly.

The Solution: Specialized DMS

To overcome these challenges efficiently, organizations are turning to specialized document management solutions.These tools serve as central repositories for policies and procedures and offer a streamlined approach to handling them.

How We Navigate the Workflow

Let’s take a closer look at how these specialized solutions work:

  1. Collaborative Document Creation: Documents are collaboratively created using familiar tools like Google Docs or Microsoft 365. Once prepared, they are stored within the document management system.

  2. Automated Routing: The system automates the routing of documents to the appropriate signatories. There’s no need for manual email routing or follow-ups – the system takes care of it all.

  3. Remote Signatures: Documents can be signed remotely, from anywhere, and at any time, ensuring a convenient and efficient approval process.

  4. Real-time Notifications: Once documents are signed, the system automatically notifies stakeholders that they are active and can be viewed in real-time.

  5. Central Repository: The system maintains a central repository with up-to-date documents that are easily searchable using index fields or full-text search. This search functionality allows users to find specific information within documents quickly.

  6. Expiration Alerts: When a document approaches its expiration date, the system notifies the document owner well in advance, allowing ample time for renewal while ensuring compliance.

Enhancing the Employee Experience

When employees are expected to adhere to new policies and procedures, the user experience plays a crucial role. With a dedicated document management solution in place, employees can trust and rely on the written policies, making the transition smooth and efficient:

  • They no longer need to second-guess whether a policy is updated or not.

  • They don’t have to spend time searching for specific policies within a cluttered digital environment.

In conclusion, while earning certifications is a significant achievement, maintaining them can be a complex endeavor, especially when transitioning from paper processes. Specialized document management solutions offer a clear path to success by providing centralized repositories, streamlined lifecycle management, and an improved employee experience. With the right tools, organizations can ensure that their policies and procedures remain effective in driving desired behaviors and outcomes while staying compliant and up-to-date.

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