Within a business, change is inevitable. Whether it be a new company direction, new systems to be implemented or new laws that affect your business, company policies and procedures are always subject to updates and changes. 

When policies and procedures change, it is essential to communicate this with your employees to avoid costly errors. Sometimes the nature of the policy that has changed can lead to legal and financial consequences if your business does not comply. 

You will need to determine who will be affected by any new policies, so you know who needs to be informed of the changes. This isn’t just your employees, but stakeholders, company partners and sometimes the wider community may need to be privet to your organisation’s updates. Knowing who will be affected will help you figure out how and when to communicate policy updates. 

This can be overwhelming for a company, so companies tend to hire interim management services that can help the communication process run smoothly. 

How to communicate policy changes to employees

When you have established that change is required, you will need to think about how you will inform your staff about the updates to your policies and procedures. You will need to take some necessary steps to guarantee that employees understand the new policies and the implications that not following protocols can have. 

Be clear about your changes.

When you are communicating new policies in the workplace, this should be clear, straight to the point and easy to understand. 

Be open and honest about why this change is needed, explain precisely what is changing and what is staying the same, and discuss what steps the employees will need to take to ensure they comply with any new requirements. 

You will also need to clearly explain what the consequences for the company are if the correct procedures are not followed. 

Try face-to-face communication

If possible, try to hold a meeting or webinar with your senior management team in attendance to discuss the new policy and the consequences if this is not followed. 

When communication is face-to-face, it feels more authentic and helps build trust between yourself and your employees. 

Even if these changes are announced through email, in writing or other official channels, it is still beneficial for managers to speak directly to their team in team meetings or on a 1-to-1 basis if required. 

Ensure that new policies are easy to find

When you make changes to your policies, it’s essential that you make this easy to find. When the procedure is easy to find, there is no reason why your employees won’t be able to adhere to them. 

It will be a detriment to your organisation if new policies are in a place that is not easily accessible to your employees. You don’t want your team searching through many pages in a document if they even know when to find the document in the first place. New policies and procedures should be clearly labelled and easy to find. 

When making changes to the company manual, it’s recommended that you send communications to all necessary parties outlining the change and also telling them where they can find new information. 

Use your employees

Sometimes policies and procedural changes can have massive implications for the entire company or just a few sections of the organisation. A great way to communicate a new policy to employees is by utilising your leadership team, who understand the new policy, to communicate these changes to all relevant team members. 

Your employees are more likely to retain and trust the information provided. When a senior team member is championing this, they respect and trust. 

Provide substantial training

Now and again, policies and procedural changes can be complex and require a new approach to the day-to-day working practices. When changing the processes your employees are familiar with, it’s not going to be enough just to write down the new procedures. You will need to provide your employees with substantial training to understand the new ways of working. 

Depending on the new procedure, it may be necessary to roll out company-wide training and provide refresher and follow-up training courses if required. 

Ask for employee input.

When you add a new policy or update an old one, it can be helpful to ask for the opinions and feedback from your employees to guarantee you are communicating in a way that makes sense to them and your company. The easiest way to do this is to provide them with a proposed policy and a sample of what this will look like. 

Giving your employees a say in the process allows them to ask questions and provide feedback about how easy the employee policies are to understand from their perspective. 

Be open to two-way communication

It’s human nature to resist change, especially when you have been something a certain way for an extended period. Employees may emotionally respond to change and may also feel that change isn’t practical. 

It would be best if you communicated any new updates clearly, but you also need to allow for your employees’ feedback as this can help them stay engaged throughout the process. 

The means of communication to use to effectively establish a new policy

When you need to communicate a new policy or procedure to your employees, there are various ways you can do this. 

These can include:

  • Sending emails to employees
  • Sharing the policies on internal social media platforms
  • Having managers discuss changes at team meetings
  • Utilising an internal company newsletters
  • Posting policy changes on a company noticeboards
  • Including policies in staff handbooks


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