Guideline vs. Policy

Difference between Guideline and Policy

The terms, “Guideline” and “Policy” are consistently used in the Corporate Business sector of the industry. There is a vast difference between these two terms and are more often used inappropriately widely. There is a myth that both these terms are synonymous and could be interchangeable words containing the same connotation. However, these two terms are both courses of action and yet distinguish themselves in their utility and application.

 

A Guideline is a collection of processes that are required to be implemented in the proper order and logically. In fact, guidelines are meant to be a course of action which guides people properly towards their acting properly and doing things in a proper manner rather than them groping in the dark without any sense of direction. It is essential for any business establishment or a company to set up certain precise standards pertaining to their products and services to guide their employees in the right direction. More often than not, it is perceived that there is a high probability of the guidelines not being followed to the letter.

 

A set of actions that is required to be followed and adhered to strictly is known as a Policy. Each and every Policy consists of values and the reasons explaining why they have been framed and what they are meant to be and how they are to be followed to the last letter. The Policy also takes into account certain planned decisions where an individual encountering rather difficult situations is guided as to how he or she should place their decisions in strict conformance to the set policy. The execution of the Policy is mandatory and of extreme significance for those people who are directly concerned with the Employer’s Policy in direct relation to its employees and workers.

 

Let’s consider a situation where there are no policies or guidelines. Without a policy or guidelines, there would a total anarchy and utter chaos in the corporate world as there would no distinct set up standard procedures in performing and doing the proper things at the proper time. The result would be that each and every individual would be doing things in their own sweet way and according to their convenience. The existence of these two pillars of Guidelines and Policy in the corporate world bound our human instinct in doing things the way in which suits anyone best and these pillars are there to place things and actions in the appropriate manner.

It would be pertinent to mention that both Policies and Guidelines are relatively close to each other and share the common goal towards bringing about a substantial improvement in the lives of people thus reducing any chance of chaos in doing things.

A Policy is a set of necessary procedures that need to be followed as it takes care of the reasoning, decision making and values. On the other hand, Guidelines are framed to sort out things and to put them in order. Guidelines may not be followed strictly and under duress, thus they can be broken as well as violated without any remorse, yet since the policy are edicts to be followed to the letter, punishments are to be meted out to those employees and workers who attempt to violate any of the imposed policies.