Those "Boring" Policies and Procedures Can Bring Your Vision to Life
Updated: Sep 11, 2019
Scriptorium began with the creation of a Human Resources manual.
In a policy writing class at MacEwan University, we received an assignment to create a Human Resources manual for an imaginary company. Serendipitously, I was assigned to work on the project with my now business partner (and dear friend), Annette Wierstra.
Our “Scriptorium” would be a Utopian organization. We dreamed up a company focused on a balance of writing success and life goals.
Each of the Scriptorium’s policies and procedures would support our core values with policies designed to craft loyalty through mutual respect and professional support. The processes ensured continuity of service while not squashing the creativity necessary for good writing. It was a thing of beauty. We got an A and the seed for our company was planted.
The corporate reality was very different from our school projects. Not every client sees the value of well written policies and procedures. They don’t understand that the person or people who started the company had a dream, and the language that dream gets translated into, is the company policies and procedures.
Government and corporate mandates demand that policies and procedures exist. I have spent hours creating documents I know will never be opened. Searching for the perfect word for a procedure, though I know it will never be read after I submit the final draft. That’s okay though, I can cash the cheque and move on.
But I find so much more professional satisfaction when I see a client’s employee shift from feeling punished when they are asked to help me write a procedure, to being proud of crafting a procedure that shares their expert knowledge and will bring safety and efficiency to their coworkers. A recent client refreshed this lesson for me.
This client has grown her business from an idea to an organization in a few short years. Her company does important work to support children and their families and she now employs over 150 people. She does not have time to meet with a technical writer every week to create policies and procedures.
However, by carefully crafting policies and procedures together, we guide her employees to all become ambassadors of her vision and her values. They go into the world and provide quality care for children and their families, who become part of the community at large. The employees, by virtue of good employment, are thereby able to care for their own families and communities. Essentially, they are making the world a better place, by taking care of their small corner.
Ok, okay, a little dramatic, I know. But I believe in the power of the written word, even if it is just creating boring, old, critically important for communicating company values, policies and procedures. And when we did finally start our company four years after we dreamed it in the classroom, that student HR manual provided us with a framework for our values and how we built Scriptorium. We haven’t quite achieved the Utopia that we dreamed of, but our vision still holds true in the company we are today.
So yeah. Writing documentation can be boring and tiresome. But creating thoughtful policy and procedure can help you build the company of your dreams.
Pamela has been writing policy and procedure for 15 years, first with EPCOR and later with Scriptorium. She still has a passion for helping companies build policy and procedures that have real value and support company culture. Contact us to book Pamela or one of our other team members to work with you to create or update your policy and procedures.