Give new life to policies and procedures.

Even if your management will not budge on what your policies and procedures (P&P) say, how you write them can boost or hinder cardholder compliance. I have seen too many P&P manuals comprised of large, unappealing text-heavy paragraphs. To give them new life, separate general information from procedures and make procedures more prominent using an appropriate format. Design matters; following are “before” and “after” examples. Which one would you rather read?

Before

In this example, the steps are buried in the text block and the passive voice adds to the dullness.  

After

This version reflects a script format, using Responsibility and Action columns to separate the tasks by job role. Each action begins with a verb and speaks to the person responsible.

You could also modify the columns to make the script format appropriate for other procedures, such as ones involving only a cardholder. For example, the first column could be Tasks and the second one How to Complete with numbered instructions for each task. Cardholders who already know how to do something can concentrate on the first column. 

Procedure Writing

Evaluating your P&P for the following five procedure writing elements and making improvements where needed will make the content easier to read.

  1. Appearance
  2. Style/language
  3. Format
  4. Level of detail
  5. Consistency

These elements, plus other procedure formats and more, are addressed within the guide referenced below. 

 What is old and lifeless can be revitalized if you take the time to incorporate effective procedure writing characteristics. 

What is old and lifeless can be revitalized if you take the time to incorporate effective procedure writing characteristics. 

More Tips

Consider purchasing the related guide from Recharged Education for just $29.99. With more than 20 pages of content, it is a real value. For providers who want to distribute the guide to multiple clients, there is a license option with no limit on the number of copies to share


About the Author

Blog post author Lynn Larson, CPCP, is the founder of Recharged Education. With more than 15 years of Commercial Card experience, her mission is to make industry education readily accessible to all. Learn more

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