Are your compliance policy documents in silos and duplicated? - 8 things to avoid
Disability Service providers have a range of approaches to managing their compliance documents. From speaking with service providers, we have discovered that many of these approaches are problematic. Auditors and staff (especially new ones) often struggle to find the relevant and reliable document.
There can be major issues when compliance documents are siloed and duplicated. A document silo can be thought of as a storage location which prevents easy access to documents. Document silos are created when there are different document formats. For example hard copies stored in folders, emails in Outlook folders or Microsoft Office files. To add to the problem, different departments may create their own document silos by using their own systems.
Duplication of folders and files is another problem. This may occur when individuals save their own version of a document so there is more than one. This makes it incredibly hard for others to find the most correct or up-to-date document.
Are your compliance policy documents in silos and duplicated? Below are 8 things to avoid and some of our tips:
1. Avoid storing documents against ‘divisions’ of the organisation. This creates silos and duplication. It makes accessing the documents difficult for different members of the organisation. A centralised system would be much more effective.
2. Try not to have multiple formats of documents or different templates. Aim to have a consistent style for all documents.
3. If documents have been updated recently, ensure all references are updated accordingly.
4. Avoid duplicating or contradicting content within silos.
5. Try not to add new policies that are not substantial and lack content. You are better off adding to an already existing, similar document. For example, a ‘working from home’ policy could be added to a ‘flexible working conditions’ policy.
6. Have some consistency with the length of documents. It does not make sense having a document that is only 2 pages, when another is 12 pages long.
7. Make sure you understand what a process is. Organisations mistakenly have policy statements around how it applies in a specific context, which is incorrect. Try and include process maps with processes to enhance understanding.
8. Have consistent writing styles, as these can differ greatly from author to author. Also aim to keep presentation of documents clear and simple, to make them easier to read.
Business management systems are a great alternative for managing your documents, and they can help you overcome some of the issues mentioned above. They allow staff members, especially new ones, to access up-to-date, relevant documents quickly.
Does your organisation need a solution to help with managing NDIS compliance documents, on-boarding staff and more? Centro BUSINESS can help ensure operational efficiency with our intuitive web-app and expert advice. Enquire about Centro BUSINESS below.