ThePeopleAlchemist Edit: HR, Business –
The staff handbook is not a book to cure insomnia
It comes a time in the life of a small business where a set of policies is required (or for bigger companies to update their Staff Handbook or, better still, recognise that their current handbook is not understood and used by employees) and the question then arises:
how can one design a Staff Handbook that is legally compliant, protects the Company, is representative of the Company’s culture but doesn’t put people to sleep?
That’s right because the staff handbook is not a book to cure insomnia. Instead, it is meant to be engaging and user-friendly. It is also supposed to reflect your company values and culture, e.g., how its written and policies should be aligned and exemplify your Mission, Vision and Values.
Keep the staff handbook simple.
Write in short sentences, using easy-to-understand words, not legalese. The Plain English Campaign offers some excellent free guides.
The longer it is, the less likely people will remember its content.
Have a content page
Content and index pages ensure that people can easily find the information they need when they need it.
Break up the pages with some colourful images in line with the Company’s branding.
Avoid punitive language
Try to focus on positive nudging rather than negative language. Encourage positive behaviours rather than punish bad ones.
Make people smile, don’t put them to sleep.
Even though the Staff Handbook contains serious information, try to present it in a way that makes people smile and reminds them of the company’s positive aspects.
Finally, remember that the staff handbook is not a book to cure insomnia and put people to sleep.