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How to Set IT Policies and Procedures Employees Will Follow

IT Policies and Procedures

We call businesses and companies “organizations.” It’s no coincidence that the term “organize” is baked into the name. The key to success for any business is keeping all of the team members organized.

How do you do that?

You outline policies and procedures that keep everyone on the same page and moving in the same direction.

The real question, then, is how do you set policies and procedures that employees can successfully follow?

That’s exactly what this guide will cover.

Policies vs Procedures

Before getting into processes that help you build your policies and procedures, a simple distinction matters. Why are we talking about both policies and procedures? How do they differ?

While they accomplish many of the same goals for the organization, policies and procedures represent separate aspects of organizing IT standards and operational procedures.

Specifically, policies are the governing rules, as well as standards that shape your organization's use of technology. Policies tend to closely reflect the goals and values of the organization, thus an important policy might require you to only work with vendors that have specific credentials.

Meanwhile, procedures tell your staff exactly what to do in specific situations. For example, procedures might dictate how IT staff are allowed to reset passwords for non-IT staff. Other procedures outline the steps to take in the event of internet downtime.

The two concepts work together, and because of that, we’ll lump them together for the majority of this post. As you read, keep the differences in the back of your mind so you can really think about when you’re building policies vs writing procedures.

Tips to Set Good Policies and Procedures

With that covered, we can dive into practices and tips that help you set appropriate policies and procedures. In general, both need to be grounded. If your rules are near impossible to follow, or if they just create too much burden for staff, they won’t work.

It’s important to think about how to build and temper your policies and procedures as you explore the tips.

Understand the types of policies and procedures

One powerful mechanism for setting your rules comes down to organization. You can break your IT policies and procedures into a handful of general classifications to make sure you’re covering all of the essentials:

  • Asset management
  • Software management
  • Security
  • Emergency response
  • Employment
  • Access
  • Ticketing
  • Escalation


You might think of some additional categories, and that’s great. These classifications are enough to get you started and ensure you’re hitting the most important rules that your organization will need for success.

Start with goals

Regardless of the policy or procedure category, good rules flow from clear goals. If you already have some metrics or KPIs to work with, that goes a long way. For instance, you might already have an idea of the number of IT help desk support tickets your organization creates each month.

You can then build policies and procedures that help you handle tickets more efficiently, and you might even implement strategies to lower the number of support tickets each month.

That’s just one specific example. The underlying theme here is to create clear goals before you worry about crafting any particular rules that become policies and then procedures.


Once you outline your goals, you can think strategically about how to accomplish them. What policies might reduce the number of tickets your staff creates each month? Should you require in-office technical training when you onboard new staff members?

What about ticket efficiency? What are the procedural steps for your IT support in Omaha? and can you rethink them to make things run better?

This is how actual prescriptions flow from your goals.

Assign responsibility

As you get into the flow and outline more and more of your policies and procedures, it’s easy to overlook an essential step. Who, specifically, is responsible for each aspect of your strategy?

Who is supposed to know each policy? Who enforces it? How do they enforce it?

Who carries out each set of procedures?

Answer these questions clearly, and put them in writing in employee handbooks as part of the policy and procedure drafts. When responsibility is unclear, policy adherence usually falls by the wayside.

Getting Employees to Follow Your Policies and Procedures

Building good policies goes a long way, but how do you get your staff to buy into the strategy? It helps if you craft rules that are realistic and aim to empower and assist employees, but that’s not always enough.

There remain a few more tactics you can employ to get your staff to understand the rules and follow them consistently.


The first is simple. Employees cannot follow rules in ignorance. They need to be able to easily access to the policies and procedures. Make it easy.

Ensure that employees can access and find every applicable policy and procedure. Put them online. Make a mobile app. Print them out and laminate them. Do what it takes to ensure compliance.

If your staff can readily and easily look up any rule when they are unsure about something, you’ve solved half the battle right there.


Access is essential, but it’s not the end of the story. Not all employees will cherish their ability to spend a lot of time reading a bunch of rules in a manual. It’s just human nature.

That’s why you need to institute some training protocols to ensure every member of the team interacts with your rule sets. The training helps reinforce the rules (and especially the ones you prioritize most). It clarifies steps that might not be so obvious in the write-up. It also gives you a chance to receive valuable feedback on your policies and procedures.

Training comes in many shapes and sizes. You can create instructional videos. You can create time-appropriate courses where someone in a leadership role teaches and quizzes teams on what they need to know.

You can build online courses.

What matters is that your training covers what the employees need to know and adequately reinforces core concepts.


At this point, there’s little excuse for anyone to be unaware of the policies and procedures, but if you want high adherence, there’s a final step. Provide incentives.

Remember that incentives come in positive and negative forms.

Negative consequences revolve around responsibility and accountability. You made it clear who is responsible for each part of your organization’s process. You can create negative consequences for moments when people fail to live up to that responsibility.

Still, it should not be all stick and no carrot. You can create rewards for adherence. If you test employees on the rules, give them a perk when they do well. Or, set quarterly goals and reward teams that meet or exceed those goals.

All of these tips will help you build and implement policies and procedures that help your organization thrive. At the end of it all, you can also partner with managed IT support experts in Omaha to get professional insights that help you get the very most from your efforts.


Topics: Technology Planning, It Policies