Let’s banish the “Stuffy old HR Team Handbooks” and say hello to A Simple Approach to HR
We all hear about Team Handbooks, they can sound pretty boring, but they need not be, they can be unique, can speak in a tone and voice that you want them to and represent your company, brand, increase motivation and productivity and above all they need not be “stuffy” and packed with jargon.
You can tell a story with your Handbook and communicate this in a way that represents you to potential candidates and your team, you can make yours supportive, caring and inclusive whilst being informative. You can achieve all of this and still communicate the all-important “legal stuff”. Whilst it does need to act as a framework for your entire team to work within you can involve your team in areas including, your great culture, mission statement, goals and values, team engagement including charity work and if you wish you could add testimonials from your clients.
We are going to look at the policy documents that sit within your Team Handbooks, for starters a well written policy should clearly set out your own company’s set of standards and behaviours, it should be applicable to your entire team, you may need to consider in various polices encompassing visitors, clients, suppliers/customers and contractors.
A policy is much better when written as a guide, it should flow, be easy to use and follow. It ultimately provides support and guidance to you and your team and should not just be used if you experience an issue with a team member, each one most definitely should be maintained regularly to keep you legally compliant, you can do this as a regular update on an annual basis, although if there are any crucial legal amendments it may be necessary to add these throughout the year.
Each policy document will provide you with an opportunity to communicate to everyone, the key messages, by doing this you can guarantee you are treating everyone fairly and consistently; adopting this approach you can also ensure that everyone understands their own responsibilities, that they are accountable for their actions should their be an issue in the future, you should clearly identify your reporting structure, when to do this and how exactly this is to be done.
Where a policy refers to legislation it is important to include this as it not just reinforces the message to everyone, it demonstrates as a company your commitment to legal compliance.
You should always include personal accountability and the potential consequences where policy has not been followed and a supportive approach to all matters, I always recommend adding where other policies can be referred to in your Handbook for further guidance and support.
Author: Fran Crossland
2 December 2019