Rules vs. Policies
Difference Between Rules and Policies
For smooth and effective operations in any organization, rules and policies hold great significance. While the policies can be termed as guidelines that point out the goals and objectives of the organization, the rules are intended to keep daily operations running smoothly without any glitches. Many similarities exist between the two terms because they both partially have the same end goal, but there are differences which we will discuss in this article to remove any doubts of the minds of readers.
Policies of an organization, company, individual or even a government are intended to guide the conduct and activities in a particular direction to help accomplish goals and objectives. The policies are usually made by senior administration provide the organization with a detailed and vast framework following which it perform all labor activities. The term foreign policy is very frequently heard and read in the headlines or in the newspapers. It deals with the overall framework that aims at providing guidelines for countries so that they can have healthy and cordial relations with other countries around the globe as well as their government. Governments come and go but the basic foreign policy remains more or less unchanged without any major changes being brought by the new government. Policies aid the government in taking decisions and also to stay on the same path that were chalked out and decided by the company’s founder(s).
Let us take the example of a school. Each school has a set of policies relating to education, admission and completing classes. These are broad guidelines that become a distinctive feature of the school and differentiate it from other schools. Rules are made based on these policies to be followed by teachers, staff and students of the school in everyday situations. While the based on these policies answer questions why and what, the rules are designed to provide answers to how, when and where.
Policies are considered the statement of intent and reflect the goals and objectives of any organization while the rules are intended to guide the conduct and attitude of employees to help them behave in different situations occurring in daily operations. For example, if employees are asked not to smoke in the premises of a factory or keep their mobile phones off during a meeting, they are considered the rules so that there is no commotion and things run in smooth manner. Commuters and vehicles should follow proper traffic rules to ensure smooth traffic operation.