Modernize Outdated Policy Processes With Compliance Management Software

by Mike Tannian on September 01, 2022

Are outdated policy management processes costing your public sector agency time, money, and resources? Policy and compliance management software can help.

Article Highlights

Clear, comprehensive policies are the lifeblood of any public sector agency. You need to understand your mission and how you're going to accomplish it, all while adhering to compliance requirements. With compliance management software, you can manage policies more quickly and efficiently than the outdated manual processes that were popular 20–30 years ago.

Those old processes, involving printed pages and binders, hinder your department's operational efficiency. Are you spending too much time and money printing and distributing policies or producing new policy binders for new hires? This affects your ability to serve your constituent community and exposes your agency and employees to liability risks.

Let’s look at the problems caused by outdated processes, how document and workflow management software can solve those problems, and the benefits of using a modern solution like NEOGOV’s Policy.

Problem: Outdated Processes

Manual policy processes are laborious and time-consuming, taking away from other important tasks. Imagine producing a new 100-page policy manual for every new hire: printing, collating, punching, and filing each manual in a new binder.

Or imagine updating a policy and sharing it with your entire agency. You have to ensure that everyone has read it, understands it, and signs off on it. So you ask each person to sign and return a form saying they received the policy, but a third of employees don't sign and return the form right away, so you have to remind them. Even after a second reminder there are still pending signatures, so you remind them again, and it continues until you're tracking down the remaining employees in person and making them sign the form in front of you.

Now picture doing that for every single policy update you make throughout the year – it becomes a full time job. Maybe you don't have to picture it, because it's your reality. Some agencies have HR employees dedicated to these types of tasks full time.

Outdated policy processes also lead to an inability to collaborate on new and updated documents with key stakeholders within and across departments. Which version is the right one? Who has the latest update? How do you make sure everyone has the correct update?

You can never be 100% certain that all staff have access to the most updated version of a policy. The new policies may have been distributed, but has everyone read them and added them to their policy binder? Until something goes wrong, it’s near impossible to know who’s using the latest policy versions and who’s working from old, obsolete information.

Sometimes you only want to send policies to specific departments or to employees of a certain level, rank, or job function. Paper-based processes make it difficult to disseminate policy and procedure changes to specific people and groups

Finally, a hard copy policy manual is hard for field employees to access. They either have to carry it with them at all times, which can be heavy and unwieldy, or they have to wait until they're back at the office before they can look up a particular policy. That's a problem when they need to reference a specific policy at a crucial moment – waiting to return to the office will be too late, and the employee may make a decision based on misinformation or outdated policies.

Government compliance management software can eliminate almost all of these problems and make it easier for everyone to access and share information.

Solution: Policy & Compliance Management Software

NEOGOV's Policy simplifies government HR policy management to save you time, money, and stress.

  • Policy uses a central repository to store, track, find, and manage all file types and versions. Everyone can access important documents from anywhere in the world, any time of day, on any device or operating system.
  • Policy's version control archives old versions and ensures that only the most recent version of a document is available to employees.
  • HR managers can use customizable workflow tools to establish consistent processes and create collaboration between department subject matter experts and stakeholders.
  • Access control gives user permissions to provide employees with proper levels of access to critical information. You can share specific documents with certain groups of people based on job function, level, or department.
  • Capture and track electronic signatures to see who has signed off on a new document. Automatically send reminders to people who have not yet signed a document.
  • Use customizable dashboards to view to-do checklists of outstanding items and track task statuses across departments.

The Policy mobile app gives employees easy access to view policies/procedures on their mobile devices. So whether your staff are in the field, working remote, or out of office, they can access job-relevant information.

The Benefits of Policy

Government policy and compliance software saves your agency time and money. Save up to $11,000 in printing and paper costs alone, not to mention money saved on filing cabinets and storage space. Our cloud-based software eliminates the need for printed policy manuals and physical storage space. It also saves valuable staff resources from tracking signatures and reminding people who haven't signed.

This improved tracking and accountability reduces liability risks. If there are ever questions or legal issues over whether an employee was properly informed about agency policies, you can easily locate their signatures and prove that they acknowledged the policy in question.

You can also update policies up to four times faster than old paper-based methods: sharing paper versions with committees, requesting feedback, and soliciting final executive approval. With NEOGOV's Policy, that entire process can be done electronically. Policy notifications can also be distributed through email notifications rather than printing out copies for every employee.

Storing files in an organized central repository prevents policies from being damaged, misplaced, or duplicated. Your staff can access files from their laptop, tablet, or mobile phone. So even if they're away from the office, at a conference, or out in the field, they can access the necessary policies and get clarification on difficult situations. With the mobile app, government employees can easily and quickly access policies when it matters most.

Final Thoughts

Government agencies still using outdated processes for policy management are prone to liability, inefficiencies, outdated documents, and employees working from inconsistent or obsolete information.

NEOGOV's policy and compliance management software, Policy, can help public sector agencies update, distribute, and track documents much more efficiently. To learn more about our software, schedule a free demo today.

Mike Tannian

Mike Tannian is the Director of Content Marketing at NEOGOV. With a talented team of writers by his side, he aims to produce content that delivers real value to public sector HR professionals at every stage in the buying journey.