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A policy is defined as a comprehensive set of rules on a specific topic (such as a process, a situation, a group of people, or a particular environment). The overall purpose of policy creation is to establish protections against incidents that would disrupt the organization’s dynamic or workflow as well as the individual lives of employees. A procedure is defined as an ordered list of recommended steps for performing a task. Standard operating procedures, for instance, must be followed step-by-step to get the desired output.

Regardless of your organization’s size, developing formal policies and procedures can make it run much more smoothly and efficiently. They communicate the values and vision of the organization, ensuring employees understand exactly what is expected of them in certain situations. Because both individual and team responsibilities are clearly documented, there is no need for trial-and-error or micromanaging. Upon reading the workplace policies and procedures, employees should clearly understand how to approach their jobs.

The absence of written policies results in unnecessary time and effort spent trying to agree on a course of action. With strict guidelines already in place, employees simply have to follow the procedures and managers just have to enforce the policies. Implementing these documents also improves the way an organization looks from the outside. Formal policies and procedures help to ensure your company complies with relevant regulations. They also demonstrate that organizations are efficient, professional and stable. This can lead to stronger business relationships and a better public reputation.

A business plan explains how a company brings in money and how it’s run on a daily basis, including its budget and resources. A business plan is essential for a new venture or initiative, such as entering a new market, launching a new product or making a major equipment purchase. It outlines how and when you expect to make a return and profit. A strategic plan sets out a company’s goals and defines the actions it takes to get there. The audience is your own team. Its key purpose is to build alignment and decision-making capacity to ready your company for the future.

Businesses ideally need both a strategic plan and a business plan. A strategic plan is primarily used for implementing and managing the strategic direction of an existing organization. A business plan is used to initially start a business, obtain funding, or direct operations. The two plans cover different time frames as well. A strategic plan generally covers a period of 3 to 5+ years, whereas a business plan is normally no more than one year. A strategic plan is used to provide focus, direction and action in order to move the organization from where they are now to where they want to go. Whereas a business plan is used to provide a structure for ideas in order to initially define the business.

A strategic plan is critical to prioritizing resources (time, money and people) to grow the revenue and increase the return on investment. Whereas a business plan is critical if the business is seeking funding. A strategic plan focuses on building a sustainable competitive advantage and is futuristic in nature. Whereas a business plan is used to assess the viability of a business opportunity, and is more tactical in nature. A strategic plan is used to communicate the direction of the organization to the staff and stakeholders. However, a business plan is used to present the entrepreneur’s ideas to a bank.

Organizational review is the process to collect, organize, analyze, interpret, and share relevant information to enable the strengthening of the organization. The purpose of organizational review is to enhance organizational success through the development of insight and intelligence about the organization.

An effective and efficient organization is able to maximize their results, using resources at their disposal, with minimal expenditures – tangible or intangible. This requires all the elements within the organization (both managerial and non-managerial) to operate at their peak levels, which can only be achieved through optimal organizational structures and maximizing each individual’s contribution.

Business processes are rarely as efficient as they could be. Most businesses never stop to re-evaluate their processes – they just stick to what they started out with. While this isn’t necessarily bad, it leaves room for mistakes. And that’s where business process improvement comes in. Business process improvement (BPI) is an approach used to identify and evaluate inefficiencies within the organization. It redesigns existing business tasks, improving their effectiveness, enhances the workflows involved, and optimizes performance.

You have to classify the business activities into one of the categories:

  • Operational – the most popular tasks repeating every day. Examples: opening accounts, reporting, manufacturing, logistics
  • Management – focus on human resource development, budgeting, corporate governance
  • Supporting – all other tasks not classified into the previous categories, like recruiting, accounting, tech support, and others.

A training manual is a set of instructions used to improve the quality of a task, process, or job. Its ultimate goal is to provide users with all the tools and information they need to excel at their tasks. A well-structured training manual can make all the difference in the success of your employee training. With an efficient and comprehensive training manual, you can quickly scale learning across your company and increase employee engagement in learning.

What’s more, you can also use a training manual to train your customers efficiently if you offer products/services that require training. In this ultimate guide to creating an effective training manual, you’ll find everything you should know about creating an effective manual for training in your company.