What Is a Policy Statement? - Definition & Examples

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  • 0:01 Policy Statements Defined
  • 1:06 Categories of Policy…
  • 2:45 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Dr. Douglas Hawks

Douglas has two master's degrees (MPA & MBA) and a PhD in Higher Education Administration.

All organizations need some degree of consistent behavior among employees in certain situations. In this lesson, you'll learn the definition of policy statements, see some examples, and learn how best to write policy.

Policy Statements Defined

A policy statement is an organization-level document that prescribes acceptable methods or behaviors. Essentially, a policy is simply the way things are done within an organization. Policies are different from procedures and standard operating procedures because they are applicable to an entire organization and are primarily intended to set direction. Procedures and standard operating procedures, on the other hand, typically include very specific instructions used to accomplish defined tasks.

Well-written and -designed policy statements are general enough that frequent revision is unnecessary. For instance, instead of referring to a specific individual in a policy statement, position titles could be used. Good policies are written in active voice and are easily understood. Short sentences avoid the use of jargon or acronyms, and using clear terms like 'must,' 'required,' 'recommended,' and 'should' make policy readable and easier to use.

Categories of Policy Statements

In a typical business environment, there are five categories of policy statements: human resources, financial, legal or regulatory, safety, and operational. Different organizations will have different policies, depending on factors such as their mission, size, and legal environment:

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