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6 Strategies to Enhance Policy Awareness with SharePoint

Using SharePoint as your employees Policy Portal

In brief

  • Support the 5 different ways that users find information including AI.
  • Formalise awareness through employee Policy attestation.
  • Provide a feedback and review loops to maintain engagement.

Policy awareness refers to the extent to which employees are informed about the existence and content of organisational policies and procedures. Despite organizations investing heavily in Policy Management—whether through manual processes or advanced Policy Management Systems—many employees remain unaware of these policies or do not know where to find the current policy information when needed.

  • Ensuring Compliance: When employees are aware of policies, they are more likely to adhere to them, reducing the risk of non-compliance with regulatory requirements.

 

  • Fostering Accountability: A high level of policy awareness promotes a culture of accountability, where employees understand their responsibilities and the standards expected of them.

 

  • Mitigating Risks: Awareness of policies helps in identifying and mitigating potential risks before they escalate into significant issues. For example, knowing cybersecurity protocols can prevent data breaches.

Policy Attestation, or Policy Acknowledgement, involves employees formally confirming they have read and understood a policy. A digital policy management system can streamline this process, making it simple for employees to review and attest to policies, as well as providing a formal auditable record.

Search

SharePoint's search functionality efficiently indexes the content of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, text, and PDF documents, providing basic filters for document and result types. However, the default settings can often overwhelm users with an excessive number of results.

To address this, enhancing SharePoint's search functionality is key. Classifying policies with metadata allows for more refined searches through filters, helping employees quickly find the relevant documents.

This enhancement not only streamlines the end-user search process but also reinforces SharePoint as an effective Policy Management solution.

Navigation

Employees often search for policies by subject matter, such as visiting the HR site for leave policies or both HR and Finance for expense policies.

A well-designed Policy Hub allows the same policy document to appear in multiple locations, ensuring users access a single, up-to-date version. Additionally, a good Policy Management solution should maintain consistent links even after updates, preventing broken links and out-of-date documents.

AI – Natural Language Search

With the rise of AI tools like Chat-GPT and Microsoft Copilot, users expect to find content via natural language search. AI models can index policy information stored in Microsoft formats (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) as well as PDFs.

Consider implementing a dedicated AI search for your Policies, this ensures that search results are focused exclusively on published policies, avoiding irrelevant content from the broader SharePoint environment. This could be achieved through configuration of Microsoft Copilot Studio or via a custom AI solution.

Using the Policy Bot to talk about a certain policy in further detail

Intranet News

Not all policies require attestation, but ongoing promotion helps ensure adherence. Regularly featuring policies in intranet news articles can explain their importance, reinforce key points, and keep employees informed.

Using news articles as part of your on-going communication strategy brings policies to life, making them more relatable and easier to remember, and if done well can share success stories.

Using news articles to promote policies

Evergreen Intranet Articles

Policies and procedures often benefit from context. Creating evergreen intranet articles with embedded documents or links allows organizations to explain the "why" behind policies, aiding adherence.

For example, a new joiners page can highlight essential policies for new employees. By using tags, this curated list can automatically update to reflect all relevant tagged policies without manual updates.

Attaching relevant polices at the bottom of intranet articles

Managing policies can be a complex and time-consuming task for quality managers and policy administrators. Policy Express solves these familiar challenges, all within Microsoft 365:

  • Enables multi-step Approval Processes
  • Proactive Policy Review Reminders
  • Automatic PDF Conversation & Publishing
  • Alerts on Orphan Policies
  • Dashboard Reporting

 

Policy Express is a fixed-fee solution and operates entirely within your tenant, ensuring data security and eliminating dependency on external services.

Discover how Policy Express can simplify your policy management – Find out more or book a Discovery Call.

  • Consolidate all your policies in one place – having trusted place makes it easy to find and manage
  • Track Policies to keep them current, the quickest way to lose confidence is through out-of-date content
  • Consider using a Policy Management solution such as Policy Express to automate publishing and to capture feedback

FAQ

Q: What is Policy Attestation?
Also know as Policy Acknowledgement, it is the formal record of an employee agreeing to an organisation’s policy.
Q: Can Policy Management systems use AI?
Using Natural Language search is good way to help users quickly find relevant policy documents but should be used carefully when drafting policies.
Q: How often should policies be reviewed and updated?
Most Policies are reviewed on an annual or bi-annual basis, that said changes in regulations or employee feedback can drive interim updates.

Author

Rupert Squires

Rupert Squires

Client Director

2 mins read

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