Just because you require employees to read company policies doesn’t mean people are truly poring over every line. And even when they do read them, they may not keep them top of mind — or understand how those policies would apply to situations they could possibly encounter.
Give them real-life situations
If there are specific policies you particularly want employees to internalize and be ready to adhere to, you can help them with communications that challenge them to make decisions based on real-life situations. You might do this in pre-shift huddles or town halls, with digital signage or posters, in videos or newsletters.
Policy topics that are particularly open to nuance and situational details are social media, speaking engagements, safety and IT security. (For more specifics on engaging employees in cybersecurity, see this Forbes article. For thoughts on the potential positive impact of employees on social media, try this blog post.)
Gamify your policies
Here are three ideas for engaging your employees in how they would apply the company policies to various circumstances:
1. Game show:
This policy game show could be part of a town hall or other company event (online or in person), a smaller team meeting or even a video you post on the intranet. Pick a panel of employees to be contestants and assign a host, who can read scenarios from cards provided. For example, contestants might have to respond to a question about what they can and can’t post on social media, describe the correct reaction to some threat to IT security, or provide the right safety protocol for a certain high-risk situation.
2. True or False quiz:
Questions like the following could be combined in an online quiz, or used one at a time on digital signs, posters, table tents. Managers could ask one true-false policy question at each pre-shift huddle, or have their teams answer an entire quiz to compete for correct answers.
Q: If someone who looks trustworthy says they’ve forgotten their security badge, it’s okay to badge them in or let them follow you in.
Q: You’re invited to fill a last-minute spot on an industry panel. You should accept right away, so you don’t give the spot to someone else.
Q: On cold days, you should wear layers so you can add or remove a layer as the temperature changes.
3. Stump the other team:
You could also leave creating the policy scenarios up to employees, in a team role play excercise. For a departmental meeting or a larger event, divide the group into two teams. Give each a section of policy and have them come up with a realistic-sounding scenario for the other team to respond to. This gives them a reason to really think about what sort of situations any particular policy might apply to.
The goal with all these activities and communications is to help employees foresee situations in which they might need to apply your company policies — which creates a far deeper understanding than just breezing through compliance training or flipping through the policy manual.
Want to bring your company policies to life? Tribe can help.