As we head into October (the 10th month of the year!), it's not our intention to cause alarm, but rather to remind you of an important task that might have fallen off your radar - the annual review of your policies. Policies are the backbone of your organization, providing the structure and guidelines that keep things running smoothly. Regularly reviewing these policies is essential for legal compliance, alignment with current practices, and ensuring they still guide the desired behaviours within your organization. In this blog, we'll explore why this annual review is so important and how it can benefit both your organization's financial health and its overall well-being.
Legal Compliance Requirements:
Laws and regulations are always evolving with changes that can impact your organization. Failure to keep up with changes to your jurisdiction can result in financial and legal repercussions – fines, penalties, and legal disputes can quickly drain your resources. By completing an annual policy review and compliance check, you can ensure you are up to date with your jurisdictional requirements and working within compliance.
Reflecting Current Practices:
Change and growth are inevitable for organizations. New technologies emerge, industry standards evolve, and best practices shift. If your policies are not aligned with current practices and do not reflect what actually happens in your organization, they can cause confusion and ultimately make the policy void and useless, impacting morale and trust, and costing you both time and money. Regular policy reviews allow you to identify outdated procedures and update your policies to reflect the most efficient and effective practices.
Annual Review and Training:
Did you know that part of the employer’s responsibility to provide a safe work environment includes regularly reviewing policies and delivering training every year? Annual policy reviews, including mandated training on violence and harassment prevention, and workplace safety, are essential for communicating any updates and reiterating procedures and expectations. Engaging employees in these discussions fosters inclusivity and ensures compliance with legal requirements. These regular reviews and training sessions create a safer, more harmonious workplace.
Enforcing Desired Behaviours:
Policies are not just about compliance; they also play a significant role in shaping the culture and behaviour of your organization. Over time, policies may become less effective at promoting the desired behaviours and values within your company. If employees perceive policies as outdated or irrelevant, non-compliance may become the norm. Regular policy reviews provide an opportunity to assess whether your policies are still achieving their intended goals and aligning with your organization’s values. Making necessary adjustments can lead to a more positive workplace environment, improving employee morale and productivity.
While it may be tempting to procrastinate, don't wait until the year's end to review your policies. Luckily, the experts at LIHR are well-versed in the jurisdictions across Canada and can take this important task off your hands and complete policy updates for you. Get in contact with us today about policy updates; you'll not only ensure your organization's financial health but also promote a thriving and compliant workplace culture!
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Lisa Isaac HR Professional Services
From the LIHR team and lead collaborator, Justine Perdeaux, HR Advisor Justine@LisaIsaacHR.com