6 Reasons Why Your Employee Handbook Is One Of Your Business’ Most Important Documents
by Mike J. Agugliaro
Building your team is an essential part of your business. You want a team of hardworking superstars who see themselves as key contributors to your company. However, very few business owners put a lot of thought or effort into their Employee Handbooks. But I believe that this document is one of the most important documents you’ll create in your business. Here’s why…
- Your employee handbook sets expectations
Your handbook should spell out exactly what is expected of the employee – when they should arrive to work, when they can leave, what is expected of them while they are on the job. The handbook should “set the bar” for how you want your employees to work (hint: you should set the bar high!)
- Your employee handbook helps create company culture
Although company culture is created in many different ways (and most heavily influenced by how YOU act), your handbook should spell out clearly what you expect your company culture to be like. It should explain what makes up the culture of your company, including what you encourage and what you won’t tolerate.
- Your employee handbook motivates employees
Your company should have a vision, core promise, principles, and targets. These things should be spelled out clearly in the employee handbook. Employees can read these to be inspired and motivated, and to align their thinking with what you envision for your company.
- Your employee handbook helps you perform employee discipline
Your employee handbook should clearly spell out expectations in a measurable way, and explain what will happen when expectations are followed and when they are not followed. Make these expectations measurable; that way, you can refer to the handbook when disciplining an employee and there will be no doubt that the disciplinary action is deserved.
- Your employee handbook equips employees to work
While you may not include all of your service scripts in your employee handbook, a good employee handbook should lay out some of the higher level decision making that an employee can do when working with a customer. For example, you might explain what constitutes as “happy customers” and an “unhappy customer” and list some specific actions to turn an unhappy customer into a happy customer.
- Your employee handbook turns employees into referrers
Your employee handbook should constantly remind employees why you are the best company for them to work for, and in turn it should remind them that their friends and colleagues and peers would also benefit from working for you. A simple explanation of why people should work for your company can be a helpful reminder to employees and a useful “script” for them to share with their friends.
Many businesses create an employee handbook as an afterthought… if they create one at all. And they’re often written as a brief document that employees might read on their first day. But a good employee handbook should be a valuable document that employees review often because they get useful, ongoing information from it.
The employee handbook is just part of effective team-building. In my book The Secrets Of Business Mastery, I explain several ways that you can master your team and lead them effectively.