Companies need to develop policies and codes of conduct that cover many topics while being understood by a large and varied audience. The process can seem straightforward but the road to getting a concise and legally sound policy in place can be a bumpy one. There needs to be a balance between having a document that is user-friendly but at the same time, comprehensive.
Policies can quickly become obsolete if they are not updated regularly. Laws change, the company’s processes change and new innovations are introduced that increase or reduce risk and this needs to be reflected in policies, procedures and codes of conduct.
The Red Flag Group has a team of skilled writers, editors, lawyers, subject matter experts, researchers, graphic designers and project managers to create effective policies and codes of conduct.
- Policies should contain the following elements to be effective:
- Realistic standards and expectations for the target audience
- Legal and regulatory requirements
- Industry best practices
- Corporate culture, style and tone
- Language that is easy to understand by the target audience
- Definitions of the terms and explanation of difficult concepts
- Relevant examples, checklists and other comprehension aids
- Reporting processes
- Process and Methods
The Red Flag Group has established a framework for policy creation that has resulted in the successful creation and implementation of many policies on various topics:
- Employee code of conduct
- Supplier code of conduct
- Bribery and corruption
- Gifts, travel and entertainment
- Conflict of interest
- Competition and anti-trust
- Data privacy
- Harassment and discrimination
- Workplace safety
- Export controls
The process for updating or creating a policy or code of conduct consists of 4 main steps.
Step 1. Project planning and objective setting
The custom policy development process begins with a thorough project brief and needs analysis to identify client goals, audience, policy communication objectives and presentation style. These needs become measures of progress and success at a variety of checkpoints throughout the development process. The Red Flag Group consultants gather content material from the client and learn about the client's business culture, communication style and tone.
Step 2. Outline
The policy creation team creates the structure and outline of the policy. At this stage, the main areas to cover and specific sub-sections are identified to create a content blue print. This document serves as a roadmap for subsequent writing stages and includes sample sections to demonstrate style and tone.
Step 3. Drafting
After the outline is finalized, the construction of the first draft begins. Commentary and feedback sessions are essential elements in shaping a policy or code of conduct to fit within the company culture. At all stages of the project, materials go through a rigorous quality control process, including editing and legal review.
After the content is finalized, translations (if necessary) are conducted by expertly trained staff.
Step 4. Graphic design
Graphic design preparation begins at the initial planning stage and gains steam after the content outline and structure have been finalized. Moving in parallel with the text drafting, The Red Flag Group provides recommended themes and design concepts in line with the client vision regarding visual style, branding guidelines and other imagery. After collaborations, a theme is finalized and the text and graphic elements are married together in a final, polished policy or code.
Even the most expertly written and designed policies are useless if they sit a shelf where nobody reads them. The Red Flag Group provides recommended steps to a successful policy rollout to ensure that the document is read, understood and put into action.