Every organization needs policies and procedures to function efficiently. Good policies make sure that an organization is complying with laws, regulations, and best practices.
As we pointed out in our post What is a policy vs. a procedure, “Together, policies and procedures guide an organization and reduce liability risks. They promote consistency across the organization – both for employees and for customers.”
But policies and procedures are especially important for local governments.
Policies and procedures bring consistency across departments
Policies and procedures keep operations running smoothly and help cultivate the workplace culture. This brings consistency across departments.
Even when the roles of various departments are vastly different, consistency in culture and baseline policies helps bring a sense of unity. Consistency in things like dress code, vacation policy, and promotion practices can contribute to reducing potential squabbles between departments.
This consistency also makes collaborations between departments easier, which encourages innovation. Departments can work together on important projects that better the community.
Policies and procedures hold employees accountable
Local governments are ultimately responsible to the people in the communities they govern. Therefore, it’s essential for governments to have accountability measures in place.
Policy and procedures set up internal accountability structures for employees and supervisors.
By laying out guidelines and boundaries, policies help hold employees accountable. If any staff member violates the standards of acceptable behavior, policies and procedures outline the steps for discipline and investigating incidents. Learn more about employee accountability in government.
Policies and procedures help governments build trust with citizens
Policies and procedures are a fundamental part of excellence in operations. Sound policies help local governments function efficiently and maintain trust with both employees and community members.
When government agencies are running efficiently internally, they are better able to communicate openly with the community.
People in the community will see the government as legitimate and be more willing to engage and partner with the government to improve the community.