These days, you can buy a boiler plate policies and procedures manual. You can just go to your friendly neighbourhood office supply store or bookstore and buy it. Phew! What a relief! Not really.

There are three problems with buying and implementing standardized policies:

  1.  Your company culture is unique
  2. Your organizational values and objectives are unique
  3. Your workforce is unique

Company Culture:
Let’s face it: policies are boring. When you buy a standardized set of policies, it is even worse because the culture and the tone to support the preferred culture are not woven into the language. If you want to start off on the right foot, have the language of your company and its brand woven into handbook.

Organizational Values and Objectives:
Your company objectives and values guide decision-making. Before a decision is final, employees should be asking if it is aligned with the values and objectives. How do you reinforce that kind of behaviour? Include it in your handbook! Describe the values and how they would look in practice towards meeting (or exceeding) objectives.

Workforce:
Use clear language and avoid jargon and legalese. You want the policy to speak directly to the people for whom it is intended. Now, if the people are lawyers, by all means, include the legalese!

Bonus Reason – Legal:
Each jurisdiction has different employment laws to follow. You want your policies to properly reflect the laws that apply to your company.

If you are trying to build a company and a brand that attracts the right people, it starts with your first hire. So start on the right foot and have your handbook setting the tone.

Need help with your handbook? Contact me!