Is your policy management system keeping pace with your workforce? We’re not living in the 1950’s or the 1990’s for that matter – times have changed. Your policy management system needs to keep up. Organizations need to provide engaging, interactive, and interesting policy management content and tools.
In the OCEG Tech Talk interview, “Policy Management and Technology,” Stephanie Jenkins explores the challenges, solutions, and steps, to get started with a Policy Management System. Formerly Vice President Advisory Services, NAVEX Global, Stephanie offers many interesting examples and metaphors to help explain policy management technology.
Policy Management and Technology
If you’ve been in the workforce for a few years, you remember the Policy Binder. You’d get a binder with all the dry, legalese wording of company policies on your first day with a new job. Likely you never looked at it again. Several years ago the Intranet replaced the binder. Unfortunately, the policies were still boring and collected virtual dust bunnies.
Technology has changed the world for all us. We’re on mobile devices, sharing updates on social media, getting access to everything going on in the world. Instant gratification.
As with everything else, we want to quick access to policies and procedures we’re looking for. As Stephanie says, employees “want to be able to find what they need when they need it and know that it’s the most accurate information. That’s really one of the major goals of a policy management system.”
The Problem With Outdated Policy Management Systems
Stephanie provides engaging examples of why outdated policy management systems create challenges. Employees, managers, policy/procedure owners, and your company all suffer. Below is a list of the nine nastiest challenges Stephanie addresses in the interview.
Employees and Manager Challenges
- Lack of Attention – When policies and procedures are hard to read employees lose interest and don’t pay attention
- Risky Sources – When employees can’t find answers in a policy management system they often go to coworkers for answers (can you say high-risk scenario?)
- Information Overload – not every employee needs to review and be aware of every policy and procedure; managers need to be able to control the information given to front line employees
Policy and Procedure Owners Challenges
- Drudgery – Managing policies without a technology solution can be a chore, especially if it involves chasing people down for input and approvals
- Duplicate Effort – While a few policies (like Code of Conduct) are centralized there’s still many silos in large organizations that breed duplicate effort and policies
- Poor Quality – Decentralized policy management means no controls over quality or the look and feel of policies
- No Tracking – A policy or procedure has a lifecycle (write, review, approve, distribute, maintain) that many policy management systems don’t manage or track
- Policy Violations – a poor policy management system may mean you’re violating laws and regulations; in some cases, fines can be as high as $200,000
- Legal Risks, Fines, and Penalties – if you’re taken to court because an employee violated a policy, and you don’t have an audit trail with proof of policy training dates and attendance you risk losing your case
Policy Management Solutions
Policy management systems must meet the needs of today’s employees using today’s technology. Stephanie recommends the following for an effect policy management system:
- Mobile and on-demand access
- Dynamic and searchable
- Easy to read
- Consistent look and feel
- Connect policies and training
- Audit trail enabled
How to Get Started with Policy Management Technology
Stephanie offers three recommendations when getting started with policy management technology.
- Conduct a risk assessment to understand the areas you should focus on.
- Do something. But take small steps. Consider starting with a committee to get key people in your company involved.
- Get your IT department involved. Stephanie is a strong believer in this, “”I am on the side that I am the cheerleader for IT. I think that they are a huge champion for policy and procedure management software and ultimately can help you make a strong decision for your organization.”
An integrated policy management technology solution “allows you take your program from very reactive to being proactive…you know what’s going to happen before it happens,” says Stephanie.
Learn More: Watch OCEG Tech Talks
Stephanie Jenkins covers many more elements of policy management technology. For example:
- Policy management for millennial workers (V03)
- Centralized versus decentralized policy management (V08, V09)
- Meta policy (V13)
- Involving IT in policy management solutions (V14, V16)
- Policy management in specific industries (V17-V24)
“Policy Management and Technology,” is part of OCEG’s Tech Talk Series. The online videos explore GRC technology through interviews with solution experts. Visit the full series listing for more information.