LPHR Magazine (March 2013) - Page 16

PROCEDURES On the other hand, a procedure typically supports a policy. It is a method for performing a task or a fixed, step-by-step sequence of activities. Procedures cover the operational processes required to implement a policy into action. Operating practices can be formal or informal, specific to a department, building or applicable across an entire business unit. If policy is “what” an organization does operationally, then it’s procedures are “how” it intents to carry out those operating policy expressions. Procedures cover a topic in a more narrow application. They are typically prone to change as a business grows or adapts. Procedures, often referred to as “Standard Operating Procedures” or “SOPs” are stated in as much detail as is required to perform accurately and effectively. At length, it will describe a process and cover “how” something is done, “when” it should take place and/or “who” involved. Both policies and procedures are necessary. Outside basic federal and local legal compliance, it is up to the organization how in depth both tools are utilized. Most importantly, both are tools that support your organizational practices and principles. Effective leaders do not lead by policy, rather refer to them as tools throughout their interdisciplinary leadership efforts.