Policies and procedures

From CEOpedia | Management online

Policies and procedures are documents which support organisation in delivering its strategic goals. The policy and the procedure are often used interchangeably, but there are some differences between them. The main difference is that a policy clarify what management wants employees to do and a procedure describes ways of delivering these goals. The policy answers question "what?" and the procedure answers question "how?".

Legislation, vision, strategy, policies and procedures

There is strong connection between company's vision, strategy, policies and procedures. The clear vision is core of each organisation - it answers quation "why?". Based on the vision, strategic objectives are set. To achieve strategic objectives, policies are developed. The most detailed level is procedure - it should carry out policy[1]. Peltier T. R. describes slightly different approach, assuming that the heart of policies and procedures is legislation established by government. The legislation impacts many areas of the company such as revenue, taxes, export and others. Based on legislation, corporate policy is prepared with standards describing specific and measurable statements. They might be mandatory or optional. Procedures are step-by-step instructions explaining the employee what he has to do to implement those standards. Standards and procedures are both part of the best practices. Guidelines are the last level, they include all detailed tasks for an employee[2].

How policies and procedures should be done

Griffin M. gives the folllwing recommendations about policies and procedures, they[3]:

  • should support vision and strategy,
  • are done after analyzing all processes within the company,
  • are written down,
  • are approved by both management and employees,
  • are published,
  • are fully implemented,
  • are kept up to date.


Policies and procedures bring unique value to the organisation[4][5][6]:

  • Without policies strategic objectives of organisation does not exist as they do not have any baselines,
  • They help employees to see clearly steps of achieving the mission and to define what is black and what is white within the company,
  • They describe values, beliefs and philosophy which exist in the organisation,
  • They visualise success factors of the company, for example focuing on:
  • They support and set standards for making decisions,
  • Having them saves time and money of managing as every time they might be seen by management when they have doubts,
  • Keep company within legal boundaries, making sure that all actions are made according to the law,
  • Include the best practises which company wish to serve,
  • Secure the information which company gained and uses.

Author: Patrycja Mikołajczyk


  1. Griffin M. (2016)
  2. Peltier T. R. (2001)
  3. Griffin M. (2016)
  4. Griffin M. (2016)
  5. Hare C. (2011)
  6. Peltier T. R. (2001)

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