Humanising Policy and Procedures 1


Feb 12, 2020


We took our daughter to the Ekka this year, and spent a bit of time watching the dog shows, particularly the kids section.

This is an event where the young dog handlers, ages 5-7, get to show case how they SHOW their dog – only they didn’t have real dogs, they had toy dogs.

It was so funny watching them all walk out into the arena in their distinct styles, a strut, a prance, a skip, a jog, with their plush toy dogs being bounced,  balanced or plainly dragged along by a leash.

policy and procedures

What struck me was how the kids followed a very set routine, within rigid rules and instructions of “how things are done” to be successful in showing your dog, whilst also infusing their whole approach with their unique little personalities and quirky styles.

I believe that we should be approaching our policies and procedures and how we implement them in much the same way.

When we think of policies and procedures we immediately think rules, regulations, strict adherence, and boring manuals gathering dust on a shelf.

And they can often be treated by businesses as a one-size fits all, set and forget, tick that box for audit, kind of thing.

In reality your policies and procedures need to be like the kids in the dog showing competition. Full of life, constantly evolving and 100% reflective of the way you show up and do business.

Yes, they need to meet certain criteria and miminum requirments and standards for good practise, but they should also reflect your unique business personality – what you stand for, your values, and what they look like in observable behavours.

Humanising Policy and Procedures 3

Policies and procedures are not a one-size fits all, especially when it comes to ‘audit time’. Why?  Because your audit will be checking your compliance against the standards and the policies & procedures of your business – what and how you actually DO things.

This is why knowing your values becomes a foundational must.

And not just knowing them, but being able to identify and document the “what” and “how”  of the values in action. The observable behaviours that give life to the values statements and words.

Some of the questions you can ask yourself, and your team, to pin point those observable behaviours for your policy and procedure are:

  • What are our values?
  • What are the things we do that demonstrate our values?
  • How do we do the things in our work that demonstrates these values?
  • Are we doing what we say we do?
  • Have we infused our values in our policies and procedures by including the observable behaviours?

Then, and only then, do you have a policy and procedures manual that is a living, evolving, organic document that personalises your business, and sets the cultural standards of expected behaviours in “how” you and your team show up every day.

Imagine a policy and procedure document for our dog showing kids….

It’s the difference between a policy and procedure that says:

“We enter the arena with our dog on the lead” 
to one that infuses the values and personality of the dog handler of
we skip joyfully into the arena with enthusiasm bouncing our dog on its lead”.

The first one isn’t wrong. However, it lacks the specific behaviours and actions that demonstrate the unique value and values of the handler that the second statement does.

The how and what is important. Clear is kind.

The ‘how’ and ‘what’ is important. CLEAR is KIND.

Humanising Policy and Procedures

Is it time that you humanised and personalised your policy and procedures and clearly set the expected and observable behaviours of how you and your team show up every day?

I offer a range of  packages and workshops, including specific programs to help you identify and clarify your values into action, as well as policy and procedure design and writing.  Contact me to find out more.

Also, if you need help or support with building a better team or stepping into your full leadership potential then please, reach out. Because I’m here to help.

Book your free clarity session or reach out today.