The importance of reviewing, updating and renewing your institution’s policies cannot be overstated in today’s rapidly changing landscape. Policies are the foundation of any organisation, providing a framework for actions, decisions, and interactions. Regularly revisiting and refining policies isn’t just a good idea; it’s a strategic imperative for a variety of compelling reasons:
1. To contribute to an inclusive culture
For starters, stagnant policies risk becoming obsolete, rendering them ineffective or even counterproductive. Policies must adapt to current realities as societal norms, technology, and regulations change. For example, an inclusion policy that fails to account for intersectional characteristics and/or experiences exposes an organisation to adopting an unsafe and unwelcoming work culture.
Reflecting on our emerging findings for Halpin’s “Revisiting BLM Thee Years On” project, countless interviewees revealed that EDI (Equality, Diversity & Inclusion) policies at their institutions were outdated or not reflective of how society has evolved – from language to nuanced experiences. Thus, their lapsed and outdated EDI policies have actively contributed to a lack of proactivity and intentionality in fostering EDI interventions that permeate the institution’s current culture.
2. To promote growth and progress
Second, policy renewal shows an institution’s dedication to growth and progress. It communicates to stakeholders such as employees, clients, and investors that the organisation is proactive in responding to changing conditions. This promotes a culture of continuous improvement and builds trust in the institution’s ability to deal with challenges.
3. To improve institutional clarity
Third, regular policy reviews allow organisations to identify and correct potential inconsistencies or contradictions. This clarity improves decision-making, reduces ambiguity, and ensures that all stakeholders are treated fairly.
An agile, responsive, and forward-thinking organisation relies on regular updates, renewals, and reviews. By adopting this practice, institutions can strengthen their foundations, foster trust, and position themselves for long-term success in an ever-changing world.
Halpin is the home of experts in Higher Education and works across Strategy, Fundraising, Governance, and People and Culture. If you would like to learn more about how we can support you, get in touch.