Is Your Company’s Employee Manual A Waste Of Paper?
How Do I Make An Employee Manual Good
Let’s face it, most companies create an employee handbook or manual to cover themselves in case someone does something stupid! It allows the company representatives to say, “we told them not to do that. It’s in the handbook we gave them!” This approach doest work very well, especially since from the moment the handbook is given to a new employee it is shoved in a drawer or on the intranet somewhere never to be taken out again until the employee leaves the company. And then it’s taken out only to be thrown away. Part of the problem is that most employee handbooks or manuals are a list of rules and things not to do. It’s a negative book and a list of constrictions. The actual purpose of a hand book should be to show the employee what to do to guarantee their success and to attach the goals of the organization to the goals of the individual.
So, what should be in an employee manual if you are going to make it worth printing?
- First, it should be a clearly designed and laid out path to success- not an organizational CYA (cover your *behind end) document.
- Second, it should attach all required procedures and activities directly to the organizations and individuals goals and success.
If it met this criteria it would be worth reading and referring to on a daily basis. Lastly, it should be of such value that organizational leaders refer to it as a reference for operations constantly. Organizational leaders use it not just for do’s or dont’s, but for how to’s as well.
How Do I Make An Employee Manual Good
A handbook or manual should spell out the organization’s operational standards. It should be the play book for day to day operations. Most organizations do not have a “Standard”. This is where conflict, contention, apathy, disenchantment and low morale stem from. People don’t mind playing the game when they know how to and they know they can win. Not that work is a game, it’s not. However, it is a place where we compete. We compete to show our worth. We compete for available rewards. We compete for opportunities. We compete for many things.
Even people like Tiger Woods, who says he only competes against himself and to his standard, competes against others. If you only compete against yourself and your standard of desired performance does not consider that of your competition, you may very well be wasting your time. If you meet your standard of performance but it is well below that of other people vying for that opportunity or reward, you automatically will lose! If your standard of performance is not higher then you are wasting your time!
For an organization to truly reach its maximum position of productivity and effectiveness, it must have a standard of operations. When leaders all do things the way they as an individual think they should be done, it kills consistency and cohesion. When organizational leaders get no training or get different training on how to perform and operate in the workplace environment, it destabilizes the work environment.
Imagine a sports team whose players all learned from a different playbook. What would their team performance look like? One thing is for certain, they wouldn’t win any Super Bowls! That same scenario is played out every day in organizations all across America. Organizations have no set, accepted and enforced operational standard and no playbook (employee manual) to learn the activities that guarantee their success. Because of this people follow their own agenda instead of pursuing the goals of the organization. Leaders don’t stick to the behaviors, steps and processes that will ensure the desired results. They ad-lib and do things based on their individual emotions creating conflict, resentment, confusion and chaos.
All successful highly successful organizations have a proven standard of operations and their handbook is the playbook to follow to operate consistently in congruence with that standard. With a set operational leadership standards and operational standard set of behaviors and actions for all, the work environment is stable, consistent, cohesive, and harmonious. Everyone knows what to do in every situation all the time. The plays or operational activities are general knowledge and do not require the leaders of the organization to stop what they are doing constantly to make unnecessary operational decisions. When the standards and goals are already in place, codified and taught, people at all levels know what to do and when to do it and to what standard of performance. They also know who is supporting whom, how and when. That’s how Super Bowls are won!
The entire culture of the organization must be based on proven operational standards which include the requirements and style or behaviors and activities of all leaders. That leadership style must be performance based and goal focused not based on the emotions and desires of individual leaders. The proven most effective leadership style is the Goals, Structure, and Culture leadership style (GSC). This style as taught in the book “Why Try To Make Them Do It When You Can Make Them Want To“, focuses everyone in the organization on the desired goals. The leadership skills keeps the goals center focus and builds the structure that uses the least time, effort and resources but most efficiently achieves the goals. And, it creates the culture where achieving the goals are positive and all activities performed by everyone everyday are focused on and measured against the group’s and organization’s goal attainment. The accepted, taught and tolerated behaviors in the organization are actions and activities moving the group toward the goals, not wasting time on social media or talking about others.
The Team-builder Leadership Institute is the authority on and has the GSC leadership development and certification system that immerses and develops organizational leaders and individuals in mastery of the GSC Leadership Standard and leadership style. Organizations use it finding that creating that operational standard and having a playbook for success dramatically improves moral, cohesion, the ability to train new leaders, the ability to train individual employees on their position, etc. Having the standard takes the guess work out of all daily operations.
If you would like your organization to perform at a Super Bowl wining level, instill the leadership standard, style and playbook that produces cohesion, harmony and high performance. Make your organization a GSC-Goals, Structure, Culture organization and build a work place and environment of ease, positive results and healthy competition! Our workplace should not be a place of confusion and chaos! It’s all about the standards!!