What is business policy and why should every company necessarily have it? Is it something that helps the company function or is it something a company can easily do without? Actually, if you are starting a business or plan to join somebody else’s company, you need to know what business policy is and why it’s important. Below, you will find some essential answers.
What is business policy in a company?
Every company that functions normally, has several hierarchic levels. Roughly, the simplest hierarchy looks like this: the topmost level consists of directors and other bosses, then managers who assign tasks to employees and control their performance, and finally, the bottom levels that include regular employees with their duties, tasks, and effectiveness.
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All the levels function together but coordinate their actions with each other. Without it, there would be chaos within a company and everything will collapse very quickly. Business policy is one of those things, which keep the company afloat because it allows different levels function separately but within a general frame.
In simpler words, business policy embraces allows employees lower than directors and other bosses can make decisions on their own. For instance, knowing the policy of the company well, a manager of a department can solve certain problems on his or her own without running to a top manager for a piece of advice, assistance, and guidance.
Business policy determines where, when, and how a person from a lower management level should make decisions, react to issues, and so on. It’s like a theater where all the actors know their roles well, know how to play them and where the circle of their abilities lies. It’s very important for the effective functioning of the entire enterprise.
What are the specific business policy features?
Business policy can be more or less effective within a certain company. The effectiveness depends on a range of features that are characteristic for business policy only. Here they are:
- Business policy should be very specific (clearly stated). It’s very important because it should be understandable for all the employees on all levels. Any misunderstanding or unclear statements mean that such policy will be very hard to implement.
- Business policy should have only one meaning. It’s impossible to follow a policy that can be understood in several different ways.
- Business policy should be uniform. All the subordinate employees should follow it in the same way without exceptions.
- Business policy should be reliable enough. It’s important that the people who work in accordance with the policy feel its reliability and stability. Of course, it can change with time but, obviously, not once in a week. Unstable systems within a company (whatever they are) cause the sense of vagueness in employees. They are uncertain about just everything in the company and it’s not the best thing for effective performance and loyalty.
- Business policy should match the current goal the company has at present.
- Business policy should be inclusive and embrace all the employees within a company. This is one of the most important features, which provides a smooth performance of all the involved employees.
- Business policy should be flexible. It means that the linear direction of the policy should always be the same but people who follow it should have several possible scenarios of actions or reactions in diverse situations. For example, top managers should have several ways of working with employees from lower levels and the bottom lines need a set of options to resort to while facing their everyday tasks.
If such an explanation is still somewhat confusing, the things can be set in simple words on several examples. For instance, a company has business policy of a certain type. It says that the rights and demands of clients are the priority in every working situation. This is what the goal of the company says: to provide the best client support ever.
However, in case some issues in their everyday work happen, the policy gives employees a range of possible allowed actions and reactions to the situation. These actions don’t violate the major policy but help employees function properly.
What’s the importance of business policy?
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If you have a company, you need to have a business policy as well. It’s a written compilation of everything you expect from your employees in all possible situations that can emerge. Why is it so important? Well, first of all, it is a reference material for your employees. They know they will find the answer in case something happens and their actions will be as correct as possible.
Then, business policy is a means that will help you find a balance between your needs and the needs of your employees in the most effective way. It’s not a secret that every employee has their own goals and needs in this life apart from the ones of your company. That is, with the help of business policy you can find a way to achieve them all efficiently.
Having a written rule codex, your employee will know how to meet your expectations in their performance. Surely, increased effectiveness will eventually turn into more career success, higher payments and all other benefits people expect from their jobs.
Another important function of business policy is a detailed explanation of all the duties assigned to every existing position in your company. Having detailed instructions, people will have a much better image of their own roles and functions in the company. Besides that, they will see how their jobs interact with others and how all this in a bundle influences the success and progress of the entire company.
Finally, business policies reinforce employees’ liability and responsibility for what they are doing. It’s necessary to give employees a comprehensive and clear explanation of who is held liable in case somebody behaves or acts in a certain way and the consequences that follows.
After all, knowing that the possibility of a punishment for the violation of rules is real, people will hardly ever try to step away from the frames determined by the business policy.
Business policy and strategic management
Business policies and management strategies are often mistaken for one another. However, there’s a clear difference between them and this should be kept in mind. If you own a company, you need to know the difference very well.
So, the difference is as follows:
- Policies are something that has to do equally with both the thinking and acting. Strategies are more related with actions
- Policies can be either done or not done, depending on the situation. Strategies are always done because they determine the achievement of the company’s goals
These are the essential facts about business policies, their main features, and their importance for the effectiveness of a company. Hopefully, the information was useful to you and your business!