Ease the pain caused by policies requiring frequent reviews and revisions

This post will look at some of the problems faced when policies need frequent reviews and those revisions need to be sent to employees so they can be kept up to date with developments.

If, like so many organisations today, you have a comprehensive library of company documents, policies and training items that need to be issued to employees / users on a regular basis you already have a big job on your hands. If you then add the need for those items to be reviewed, updated and re-issued for the same employees / users to re-acknowledge you have a potential nightmare with multiple document versions, acceptances and outstanding items all in the mix at once. Just thinking about all the possible outcomes could be enough to send you looking for a nice quiet darkened room to get away from it all.

However – please don’t reach for a bucket of sand to bury your head in just yet. If your organisation uses SharePoint you can use DocRead for SharePoint to distribute the final documents to the relevant employees / users and use the reporting tool to keep track of who has and has not read it.

Basic Policy requiring employees to read and acknowledge.

So – lets start at the beginning with a specific company policy that all employees need to read and accept – your organisations ‘Employee Handbook’.

If you issue your handbook in printed form you probably also use a paper reply slip for the employee to complete and return stating that they have read the handbook. This reply slip then has to be filed for future reference.

If you have already moved to a paperless handbook, you should already have your document saved in a SharePoint document library which all employees have at least ‘read only’ access to. You may also have this document incorporated into a web page that employees can find when browsing on your organisations intranet. This is a great start, but unless your employees know where to look for it, they may not find it and also you have no idea whether a particular person has actually read it at all.

Why not automate distribution and reporting?

If you already use SharePoint, why not use DocRead to automatically assign reading tasks to employees and also monitor who has and has not self certified that they have read the handbook? You won’t need to use reply slips because DocRead creates and securely stores reading receipts / certificates for you to easily access at any point in the future.
Employees are sent links to the document for them to access directly from SharePoint, meaning you don’t have to maintain a separate document system.

What happens when the document needs updating?

Should your employee handbook require an update that all employees need to be made aware of you can achieve this quite simply by using ‘Reset Reading Tasks’.


This ensures that all employees who were required to read and acknowledge the original document will receive a new reading task for the latest version. The reading receipts (both positive confirming they completed the original task, and negative stating that they did not complete the original task) will continue to be stored in the DocRead databases.
The new reading task sent to employees will automatically link to the latest version of the handbook and the new reading receipts will also refer to the new version of the document.
You can reset the reading tasks as many times as you like – so if you have policies that are regularly reviewed and updated this can offer considerable time savings and minimise the additional administrative burden.