Your office procedure manual contains your company’s best practices that define your systematic approach to implementing business policy expectations, plans, and work routines — also known as procedures. What’s the purpose of a procedure manual? It can achieve a number of benefits for your organization.
Purpose of a Procedure Manual
The purpose of procedures in general is to serve as training material. In addition, an important purpose of procedures is to ensure consistency. Procedures are designed to help reduce variation within a given process. Clearly stating the purpose for your procedure helps you gain employee cooperation, or compliance, and it instills in your employees a sense of direction and urgency.
The statement of purpose is a “soft” statement of reasons and goals. Objectives, on the other hand, are about quantifying and measuring. For any of your business processes, you must have measurable objectives. The purpose is general, where the objectives are specific.
Your workplace procedure manual communicates your corporate vision and mission. Individual business policies and appropriate standard operating procedures (SOP) outline steps for achieving your company’s objectives in your company’s style and format. What is the difference between policies and procedures you may ask?
A definite course or method of action to guide and determine decisions; a guide to decision making under a given set of circumstances within the framework of corporate objectives, goals, and management philosophies. A policy may also be referred to as: a business rule, management philosophy, company mission, company culture, “the way it’s done around here”, a standard, a principle, and even a procedure (although a policy is different than a procedure).