How Established Policies Can Prepare a Company for Dealing with Current & Furture Challenges
Policies provide guidelines for all management and employees about how the organization operates, and sets the expectations for everyone, how to conduct their activities across the business.
Many people see policies as a set of rules that restrict them from doing what needs to be done. In reality, a well drafted set of Company Policies will enable the business to deliver value to its customers by generating a rewarding and profitable service or product. In addition, this helps guide decisions that need to be made, and cover both current and future events, potentially at a moments notice.
We are all too familiar with what COVID-19 has meant to our businesses. At Accucam we were just like anyone else, working each day to provide the best products for our customers, but virtually over night our world changed. Fortunately, previous policies had been formulated in the due to the “SARS” outbreak. At that time, no one had planned how to respond to an event like that. As a result, we generated a policy from what we had previously learned, with a purpose to help address an unexpected event and the negative impacts it would have on our workforce, facilities, and operations. The policy was designed to help maintain our focus on health and safety and ensure the continuity of our operations and delivery of products to our customers.
This policy document was essential when dealing with the daily changes that we experienced during the early stages of COVID-19. It addressed common activities like internal and external communications, how to reduce the impacts and minimize the exposure/spread of the disease and focused on the continuity of the business which required separation of staff, creating sub-groups and cohorts to reduce the risk of a full business closure.
Accucam is fortunate to be part of the essential supply chain to various industries and we took this responsibility very seriously, knowing what effect a disruption in our operations would have on our customers down the line.
It was a strange day when our management team assembled to discuss what we needed to do and to see our employees divided into groups, some packing up to work remotely and leave their colleagues behind. It was even stranger in the weeks and months that followed, as we made adjustment after adjustment to our strategy to ensure the safety of our employees and the continual flow of product to our customers.
Looking back on the experience, we are amazed at how a simple policy developed out of an event from the past could be so valuable. Not everything was relevant, but many of the basic ideas that would soon become common practice, advised by Public Health Agencies were already detailed. We certainly had to adapt and be prepared to flex with what was actively happening around us but the core structure of the policy maintained our focus.
At Accucam, this Policy experience has created a new initiative for 2021, we are reviewing all our current policies and revising as needed. It is not to create more rules, it is to be better prepared for our future and better serve our customers.