The short answer is, keep it simple!
Nothing draws the audible release of the breath of dread more than pages and pages of text riddled with big long sentences.
Let's face it, nobody gets excited about reading pages upon pages of hard to understand policies.
Yet company policies tend to live in their own world of expectation and apprehension.
They live somewhere on a company's intranet, nobody knows where. Everyone has seen them at least once, but couldn't recite any content.
Yet they are very important for a company to have.
So how many pages should a company policy actually be?
Let's start with the basics first. What's the purpose of a company policy?
Its purpose is to document a company's beliefs, boundaries, and guidelines and are there to support expected behaviour in the workplace.
They are supposed to communicate clear direction on how employees are supposed to act in the workplace, and beyond.
To quote one company, it's the operating system that powers the company.
Keeping it high level, for instance if a company has a strong ethics policy, the policy can help instill the importance of integrity and ethical behaviours of employees in the workplace. Policies serve as a way for management to communicate behavioral expectations to employees.
But, let's bring this down a level or two for the sake of this post. Let's 'un-fancy' them all the way down to three or four important words that mean something to employees, and speak volumes.
What if a company were to introduce a 'three word' policy?
What if a company were to promote a few simple policies like:
Use Common Sense.
Or Use Good Judgment.
Or Work With Integrity.
Short and to the point. Short enough for most to understand what they mean, and easily actionable in day to day interactions.
Use the actual company policies as supporting material to your 'three word' policies where employees can get more information if they are unsure what using good judgement means in certain situations.
See, short and to the point, like this post!