Updating policies

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At AHRC, West said, 25% of the manual is reviewed and updated every six months, so that over the course of two years, the entire manual receives scrutiny.Of course, with changes resulting from developments such as new laws or regulations, AHRC updates the relevant material immediately.If you’ve made changes to how you use social media since Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica privacy debacle, you’re not alone.A new poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 7 out of 10 of online adults who’ve heard of the Cambridge Analytica scandal have changed their behavior on social media.

Yet there’s no question that a high-quality policies and procedures manual can provide underlying documentation that helps an organization run effectively and efficiently.The best manuals are clearly written and easy to understand, with a table of contents that’s easy to use for employees who wish to quickly refer to material on a certain topic.Any acronyms used should be commonly understood, and the most effective language will not be condescending, while limiting use of the words “should” and “must,” said Amy West, CPA, CGMA, the CFO of AHRC New York City, which supports people with developmental disabilities.Saying an employee “must” turn in expense reports sounds more threatening than saying an employee “is responsible for” turning in expense reports.The best manuals also are created and updated by welcoming information and input from people at all levels in an organization, with a bottom-up approach rather than a top-down system, West said at the conference.

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