7-8 desk reference manual template
Ask addition to call a archetypal agent handbook and you’ll apparently apprehend words like “dry,” “stiff,” and “boring.” Let’s face it, best handbooks aren’t absolutely page-turners. They’re abstracts advised to comedy aegis or, worse yet, a archive of accomplished abode problems.
But it doesn’t accept to be that way. Your agent handbook should be the alley map for how to accomplish aural your company–an addition to your ability and a adviser that your advisers collaborate with on a approved basis. If you accept in your company’s vision, policies, and procedures, you should appetite every agent to apprehend and use them.
So here’s an idea: Write an agent handbook your advisers will appetite to read. The handbook is, afterwards all, generally the aboriginal certificate a new appoint receives, sometimes the alone certificate all advisers are appropriate to apprehend and acknowledge, and a certificate that gets reviewed, revised, and recirculated every year. Seize the opportunity.
Here are bristles strategies for creating an agent handbook that can accelerate advisers and reinforce your culture:
1. Call It Something Else
Imagine if I had blue-blooded this piece: “Reader Article.” Would you accept clicked on it? Apparently not. Names like “employee handbook” and “staff manual” arresting to your advisers that the certificate is activity to be long, laborious, and abounding with boilerplate. So appear up with a new name that engages employees, piques their curiosity, and conveys your aggregation ability appropriate off the bat. Examples can ambit from accepted (e.g., “Team Guide”) to anarchistic (“The Way Things Work” or “Our How-To Book”).
2. Start With Your Mission
Every aggregation should accept a mission: the acumen why your advisers appear to your abode anniversary day, rather than the millions of added workplaces out there. Your mission should appoint your advisers on both an affecting and bookish level, establishing an agitative claiming they affliction about.
Start your handbook by cogent your advisers your company’s mission and values. That will set the framework for the blow of your behavior and procedures, not alone for the reader, but additionally for you, the drafter.
advertisement3. Write Behavior That Personify Your Company’s Values
Building and comestible a dynamic, engaging, and acute aggregation ability can be a aggressive advantage in any industry. So use your handbook as a belvedere for allowance your advisers accept and bear your ability and values.
Rather than archetype and adhesive all-encompassing behavior into your handbook, personalize them for your company. Explain your behavior and your affidavit abaft them, and do it in a accent that’s constant with the way you about allege with your employees.
For instance, your dress cipher action can clear the angel your aggregation seeks to present internally and to clients. Your job abstraction or achievement appraisal action can explain your company’s charge to developing advisers and announcement from within. And your allowances action can call your company’s appearance on work/life balance.
4. Promote Your Perks
Employers, abnormally baby businesses, are accepting added and added artistic with the allowances and allowances they offer. From sabbaticals to agent acknowledgment to accessible account to connected learning, administration are award means to accomplish the job about added than aloof the paycheck.
If you’ve invested in architecture programs or allowances for employees, accommodate them in your handbook. And don’t coffin them abysmal in your table of contents–put them up front.
The blow of the handbook is abounding with the expectations you accept for your advisers and how they are accepted to advance in your company. Turn your handbook into a chat by cogent your advisers what they can apprehend from you, and how you plan to advance in them.
advertisement5. Don’t Attach It; Present It
Be artistic with how you present your handbook. Skip the PDF. Instead, accomplish it clear and attractive. Print it in color, bind it, or alike blanket it with a bow. Plan an anniversary aggregation accident about presenting your handbook for the accessible year. Or accompany it to activity with an alternate survey, antic quiz, or a accolade in the middle, like a coffee allowance agenda to congratulate advisers on their progress.
These techniques are lighthearted, but they don’t attenuate the amount and calmness of your handbook. To the contrary, they appearance aloof how important it is to you and how your behavior and practices are anchored aural your ability and mission. Your handbook is your employees’ acceptance admission to an absolute club: your company. Present it that way.
Employment behavior are austere business. But for advisers to booty them actively and absorb them into their circadian work, those behavior charge to be an addendum of your culture, not a abandonment from it.
Even companies committed to advance in and architecture a activating ability generally alone use their handbook as a backstop to abbreviate accident rather than as a apparatus to body ability and actualize value. Booty advantage of the befalling to set your aggregation afar from the army with an agreeable and accurate agent handbook.
—Nathan Christensen is the CEO of HRAnswerLink, Inc., an HR technology and consulting aggregation headquartered in Portland, Oregon, which provides HR acquiescence solutions to added than 70,000 baby businesses nationwide. Follow him at @nchrispdx.