How to Improve your WSP’s Usability
Written supervisory procedures (WSPs) have evolved over the years – from a standard checklist of rules and regulations, to a set of guidelines that tell employees exactly what they can and cannot do. They are the lifeblood of your organization – encouraging staff to handle specific issues or processes consistently, ethically and in a timely fashion – day in and day out.
And yet, each year, organizations lose thousands of dollars through common mistakes and lapses in document usability. To increase employee compliance, we’ve outlined several tips to strengthen your internal policies and procedures management process.
Reinforce Policies through Training: If your firm’s WSPs are read once a year during an annual attestation process, they will be treated as just that – a fleeting memory in time. To truly make an impact, your firm’s WSPs should be accompanied by a robust continuing education program that’s supported by ongoing measurement of learning retention. Once you’ve rolled out your supervisory manual, track your representatives’ understanding through reinforced training and active knowledge checks. At Quest CE, we help firms accomplish this by giving them the ability to tailor our off-the-shelf courses around their WSPs, at no additional cost. To learn more, click here.
Check Links/Resources: There’s nothing worse than policies and procedures touting outdated or inaccurate information. Avoid this issue by actively checking hyperlinks and verifying contact information included in your policies and procedures. It’s easy for hyperlinks to become broken, both inside and outside of your organization. While contact information likely won’t change every year, turnover does happen and updates do occur. If you keep your firms links up-to-date, it’s less likely that your reps will turn in outdated documents down the road.
Have a Policy Review Committee: While this isn’t an option for all firms, having a policy review committee can help ensure that the policies you’re writing down are actually being followed and applied appropriately. Also, being able to get some fresh eyes on what you’re saying and how you’re saying it may give you new perspective you wouldn’t otherwise have considered.
Use Plain English: The most effective WSPs are comprehensive, yet simple and direct. They think about the reader and consider how much background knowledge they may or may not have. If your representatives are coming to you often, your policies may require some additional clarification.
Make it Easy and Accessible: Different departments contain different personalities, schedules and daily experiences. To ensure compliance with policies and procedures, make sure that you deliver them to your employees through vessels they are not only comfortable with, but also have easy access to.
To learn more about Quest CE’s policy management tool, click here.