A well-structured Policy & Procedure Manual provides a framework for how daily tasks should be carried out and sets a standard for employees and volunteers. Written policies help staff and volunteers understand what is expected of them and reiterate your center's mission and vision.
Whether you are a new center or have been established for many years, your policies and procedures should be reviewed and updated annually. If your center's director is the individual evaluating the policy manual, ensure that any suggested changes are approved by the Board of Directors before being implemented.
Is it time for a little review and refresh?
Research shows you are 42% more likely to accomplish a task when you write it down. With this in mind, schedule a time in your calendar to review your center's manual in the next month! Use the tips below to simplify your review process.
Require staff to read the manual when they begin employment and any time a policy is updated. Regardless of whether any changes are made, it is wise to have each employee read the manual annually. Once reviewed, ask staff to sign a form indicating that they have read and understood the policies presented.
If you do not have a Policy & Procedure Manual for your center, or have one that hasn't been updated in several years, seek the wisdom and counsel of a life-affirming lawyer, business professional or physician in your state. Examples of important policies to implement are Confidentiality, Non-Compete Agreement, Paid Time Off, Internet & Cell Phone Usage, Dress Code, Disciplinary Action and Client Interaction & Boundaries.
If you are a medical center, you should have a separate Medical Policy & Procedure Manual detailing policies and practices for the medical services provided in your center. These services may include ultrasounds, STD/STI testing and treatment or prenatal care among others. Review the Medical Policy & Procedure Manual annually and consult with your Director for any suggested changes.
Consider creating a separate policy manual for volunteers. The Volunteer Policy & Procedures Manual doesn't need to be as comprehensive as the staff's policy manual, but should still include topics like client confidentiality, client boundaries, inappropriate behavior, dress code and accident liability. Every volunteer should be required to read and agree to these policies prior to volunteering, regardless of whether or not they intend to interact with clients.
Once your manuals for employees, medical services and volunteers are implemented, maintaining them should be relatively simple. The manuals will make day-to-day operations in your center smooth and consistent.
VirTru subscribers can find more suggestions on how to create and implement policies and procedures in your organization in the course Building Your Foundation (located in Define Your Culture) and Systems and Operating Procedures (located in Drive Results).