Good policies are easy to read

Write a policy that is clear and easy to understand. If people understand a policy, they are more likely to follow it and make it part of their work culture.

Select your words carefully

Words like ‘should’ and ‘may’ imply a choice. For example, “Faculty and staff should not smoke in class.”
This means they should not smoke but it’s perfectly fine if they do.

“Faculty, staff and students are prohibited from smoking in class.”
(This is better, but only addresses a class setting.)

“Smoking is not allowed inside University buildings.”

Be concise

Use as few words as possible to state a case. For example, “All faculty and staff must…”

The word ‘all’ is redundant. Simply stating “Faculty and staff” implies all unless an exception is also written.

Sometimes, over clarifying a statement can alter its meaning. For example, “All university faculty and staff, under the leadership of its officers, are obligated to ensure that university funds are used only for mission related purposes.”

This statement implies that only those “under the leadership” are required to follow
the policy.