Business Documents: Policies, Procedure Manuals & More

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  • 00:00 Types of Business Documents
  • 00:50 Policies
  • 2:13 Procedure Manuals
  • 3:03 Employee Programs
  • 4:10 Interaction Between the Three
  • 4:51 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kevin Newton

Kevin has edited encyclopedias, taught history, and has an MA in Islamic law/finance. He has since founded his own financial advice firm, Newton Analytical.

While letters and memos may be purpose written for businesses, plenty of other documents are used as well. In this lesson we'll take a look at policies, procedure manuals, and employee training programs.

Types of Business Documents

Businesses use a wide variety of documents in daily practice, from memos and letters to resumes and advertisements, many of these documents are composed for specific purposes and are only used at certain times. However, some business documents are composed for continual use, whether it is by an entire firm or by just a few people. Some of these documents may see more intermittent use, but are still reused throughout the life of the company. In this lesson, we're going to look at three classes of those types of documents that find themselves being relied on throughout the life cycle of a business. We will start by looking at the policies that companies write for all employees, as well as procedure manuals for specific instances. We will then look at employee programs that are composed to serve a specific purpose, even though they are often reused.


Chances are that your company has a variety of policies that all employees are expected to follow. A policy is a rule that is set by the managers of a company to make sure that everyone has an understanding of expectations. For example, many companies have policies on rampant absenteeism that outlines the steps that a company can take to terminate someone who is always missing work. In short, policies tend to exist to protect the company. This is especially true regarding any sort of issue that would result in a legal problem for the company. As a result, worker's compensation policies for when an employee is injured in their course of work, as well as harassment policies that protect employees from unwanted attention, are common in virtually every company.

However, not all policies are so uniform. Different departments of a company may have different policies regarding how to request time off for a longer lunch, as well as policies on an appropriate use of a corporate credit card. But wait. How do companies distribute their policies? The documents used to distribute policies can vary widely. Almost all of them are included in employee manuals, however, others are even more visible. For example, many companies use posters to display information on worker's compensation and harassment policies.

Procedure Manuals

Policies are useful as rules within a company. However, not everything can be made into a rule. Procedure manuals offer a way of outlining steps to follow for different business situations. There is a bit of gray area between policies and employee manuals, but I'm not necessarily speaking about the employee manuals that new hires get during orientation. Instead, I'm talking about procedure manuals that deal with more specific aspects of the job. Employees shouldn't be expected to soak up every bit of detail for jobs that they do not do. For example, it is relatively useless for a marketing employee to know all the procedures of the engineers. As a result, much of that knowledge would be contained in procedure manuals for engineers. Likewise, marketing employees would have their own set of procedure manuals for marketing purposes.

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