The Staff Handbook is not a book to cure insomnia….
Published on June 28, 2016
published on June 28, 2016

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.


And short


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.


Use pictures


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.








Laura Mariani

Laura Mariani

Best Selling Author, Speaker, Change & Transformation Expert


Hi there, I hope you enjoyed this post. Please do provide me with feedback.

I want to hear ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’. If you disagree with me or want to provide a different perspective, leave a comment. Tell me what’s on your mind.

Do remember though to be respectful and kind – we can agree to disagree, no need to be nasty. Thank you.


Laura xxx

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in my posts are ‘affiliate links‘. This means that if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, for example as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This is at no extra cost to you. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and absolutely would recommend to my readers.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share This

Share this post with your friends!