Introduction

Policy management consists of the practices associated with managing your organization’s policies or procedures throughout all the policy life cycle stages – including drafting, editing, approving, updating, distributing, storing, and documenting. Policies give employees a comprehensive understanding of how to implement critical tasks and meet behavioral expectations.

In 2018, NAVEX Global partnered with an independent research firm to survey professionals from a wide range of industries about their approach to building an effective ethics and compliance (E&C) program. The survey represents over 1,200 respondents from around the globe who influence or manage their organization’s E&C program, including 757 who are specifically involved with policies and procedures.

This report looks at how organizations are addressing policy and procedure management as part of a comprehensive E&C program. It sets out to answer questions such as:

  • What are organizations doing to address policy management today?
  • In what areas of policy management are organizations excelling or struggling?
  • What approaches are organizations taking toward automating policy management?
  • Are organizations satisfied with their current approach to policy management?
  • How will policy management programs evolve?

How to use this report

Gone are the days of merely documenting the existence of policies and procedures: Regulators have now made it clear that organizations must demonstrate that their employees know and understand them, and that they are working to make them effective. Use the insights presented in this report for the inspiration, justification, and direction necessary to make key decisions about the future of your organization’s policy management approach.

  • Determine whether your policy management practices are protecting or harming your company.
  • Benchmark your policy management program against industry best practices.
  • Leverage our data, analysis and recommendations to improve your program’s effectiveness.

Executive Summary

Several central themes emerged from this year’s analysis:

  • Increasing awareness of policies across the organization is a top priority for 50% of E&C programs over the next 12 months. Other common priorities include improving or increasing E&C training activities, training and supporting frontline managers and supervisors, and auditing or measuring compliance program effectiveness. This is relatively promising given that 89% of companies have a code of conduct, but it should be noted that most of these answers are regarding the basics of an E&C program. Companies are most focused on communicating their message and getting the entire company to buy in before moving on to more strategic plans.
  • Few are measuring the performance of policy programs. Despite 86% of respondents requiring employees to attest that they’ve received and read policies and procedures, only 15% used metrics for testing employees on comprehension. This is especially worrying given that around 20% of respondents won’t be increasing their budgets in the next 12 months, while evolving regulations and expectations will make it more difficult for organizations to keep up. Of those who do measure effectiveness, more advanced and automated programs correlate with a greater rate of effectiveness.

To learn more of the key findings, download the full report.