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. It will also consider when employees need to understand those revisions and be kept up to date with developments.

If, like so many organizations 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 escape room!

However - please don't reach for a bucket of sand to bury your head in just yet. If your organization uses SharePoint you can use DocRead for SharePoint to manage the process. DocRead can distribute the final documents to the relevant employees / users. Furthermore, the reporting tool will allow you to keep track of who has and has not read it.

Basic Policy requiring employees to read and acknowledge.

So - let's start at the beginning with a specific company policy that all employees need to read and accept. Let's think about your organizations 'Employee Handbook'.

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

If you already have a paperless handbook, you should have your document saved in a SharePoint document library. All employees should have 'read only' access to it. You may also have this document incorporated into a web page that employees can find when browsing on your intranet. This is a great start, but unless your employees know where to look for it, they may not find it. You also 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? DocRead will 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. Therefore, 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 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. Also the new reading receipts will refer to the new version of the document.

You can reset the reading tasks as many times as you like. If you have policies that require regular updates this offers considerable time savings and will minimize the additional administrative burden.