Getting the most from your users out of the employee handbook

Creating the all-encompassing and perfect IT policy for users can be a double-edged sword. Often, policies are invoked on an as-needed basis. But a common response to violations is, “I didn’t know what the policy meant.”

To make policies easier to understand, we have a few tips.

Get straight to the point

People don’t like to read lengthy pages of policy doublespeak. Boil down the info to provide only what users and staffers need to know. Ask what IT needs from users, then answer it simply. The old policy can be kept on hand for legal reasons, but also distribute the abridged version that highlights all of the most important points.

Cut the jargon

Cutting out the industry talk from your policy should make intentions much clearer for your users. Ease up on the alphabet-soup acronyms while you’re at it. You can provide a glossary if the terms in the policy are absolutely necessary, but avoid going overboard with a dictionary user guide to accompany any IT policy.

Ask someone external to review

The final test is to make sure policies can be understood by anyone. So grab a friend, coworker, boss or spouse and run the new document by them. It’s especially important to have executive buy-in for any policy changes. And it’s paramount anyone in the C-suite comprehends the text.

If it’s understood, you have the green light to apply it to the larger user base and clear up any lingering misunderstandings.