All organizations must institute corporate policies that get distributed to employees as guidelines for job performance. Policy letters are need to explain company policies related to compensation, benefits, vacation and holidays. The disciplinary action process as well as expectations from employees relative to the company’s federal government Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) obligations may require policy letters. Periodically, a company must add to or change policy. New and revised policies need to be communicated to all employees so that everyone is aware of important changes.
Consider producing a formal company manual, or encase all company policies in plastic sleeves in a formal binder as evidence of the importance of the doctrines of corporate life. This becomes the corporate “bible,” which, when redistributed with changes, requires a policy cover letter.
Writing a Company Policy Letter
Use company letterhead stationary to reproduce the policy cover letter. Letterhead stationary reiterates the authority and full approval of the corporation behind the new and existing company policies.
Direct the letter to the attention of all those affected by the policy. Authorship of the company policy might come from the individual manager in a specific department or from the Director of Human Resources, Office Manager or other individual who is directly responsible for hiring personnel. Company policies, even those directly related to a particular department, should have been been developed in concert with and approved by the Human Resources department.
Include an effective date for the new or revised policy change. The effective date might well be in the first sentence of the letter itself. “Effective October 5, 2015, the company will no longer permit smoking on the premises” is an example of a way to begin the policy letter.
The effective date signifies to all when the new standard officially takes effect. After that date, an employee will be in breach of company policy.
Be as brief as possible when drafting the policy letter. The policy itself is what is important, not the cover letter. The policy letter should capture the essence of the new policies succinctly in laymen’s terms. Employees should be encouraged to actually read the terms of a new policy as captured in the formal manual rather than have it translated and interpreted for them through a long policy discourse by management.
Reiterate the essence of an old company policy when introducing a revision or update to it. Highlight the changes in boldface or by underlining, and clarify what language may now be excluded if necessary.
Provide a means for management to answer any questions about the new or changed policy by including a statement such as “Please direct any questions or comments to Jane Doe, Director HR ext 123.”