Voicing your expectations clearly to your employees is one workplace ethic you must take care of as their employer. This is where a lucidly written employee handbook comes in handy. The handbook usually contains information regarding the rights of the employees as well as the employer and sets the benchmarks for workplace ethics which your employees shall be required to follow.
What’s even more important is the need for the handbook to represent clearly and thoroughly, the culture you value at your organization. Even though the most common method used by employees to uphold the values integral to your business is by following your suite, a handbook on the other hand helps prepare them for it, before they even become a part of your organization.
Now here’s the tricky part. How do you actually ensure that your employee handbook truly reflects your company’s values and ethics? We have compiled a list consisting of 5 ways that might help you in this regard.
Know your company’s culture and core values:
Before you set on lecturing others about maintaining your company’s values, it is important that you first identify them yourself and get them endorsed or seconded by your team. The clearer you and your team are about the organization’s cultural ethos, the more convenient it shall be to have others follow them.
There are multiple exercises which can help you identify your core values:
1. Identify your mission statement.
A mission statement tells what it is that the organization intends to achieve by providing a certain service or product, in addition to making money. Once you answer this “what”, you are only a step away from determining how to make your mission possible. This “how” represents your company’s core values and ethics.
Gather together your colleagues in an informal setting and brainstorm about the various values that your company can go by. List all the ideas and choose similar ones. Discuss and shortlist around 3-5 core values which ideally compliments your mission statement.
3. Reward or penalty.
Determine on what basis you shall be obliged to reward and reprimand any of your team members, other than over making quick money. These conditions, after some brainstorming, can then evaluate your organizational ethos and values.
Implement these values at your workplace:
Now that you have built and identified your core values, it is now time to have them implemented at your workplace by the entire staff, janitor and co-worker alike. Words hold no importance on their own unless the information they are imparting is legible and comprehensible.
To make your cultural ethos written on your employee handbook comprehensible for your employees, it is important that you have examples within your own organization of workers who already uphold these core values. This substantiates the fact that your core values are not imaginary, and are pretty grounded instead. The clearer you and your team are about these values, the better you will be able to set an example by impersonating them and subsequently explaining them in your employee handbook.
Employee handbook should help build a good work relationship:
The cultural ethos within your organization is just not a fancy statement, made to give a mature touch to your business. It represents a set of values that the entire organization endorses and lives up to, inside as well as outside of the company. When creating an HR handbook, you need to explain thoroughly the importance of maintaining the cultural ethos within the handbook.
Your employee handbook should communicate about how the alignment of goals within an organization helps promote the idea of shared success, whereby the entire staff starts working as a unit. This helps build a great working relationship, which is essential for the company’s consistent productivity and growth. Your handbook should also talk about how the misalignment of goals creates confusion amongst the staff and impedes the organization’s mission instead.
Employee handbooks should identify what your organization is an expert at:
Whatever you identify as your core value becomes the thing that your organization is an expert at. For example, if the core value of your organization talks about being creative, adventurous and open-minded, then this is precisely what your customers shall be requiring from your service or products.
When you state in your employee handbook the things that your organization is known for, it automatically briefs the reader about the skill set that shall be required of him. In the above-mentioned case, your employee should be able to think creatively and produce unconventional ideas that match your organization’s agenda. If your handbook conveys your agenda in a comprehensible manner, know that you have succeeded in ensuring that your handbook reflects your organizational values.
Mention clearly your organizational policies in the handbook:
Having a clear set of determined values helps you create the policies upon which your organizational system shall be run. Taking creativity as an example of core value, the organizational policy will then include the hiring of millennials with fresher minds. Subsequently, in order to attract these youngsters towards the job opportunity, policies for the creation of an open and flexible environment shall be made.
It is the clear mention of these policies within your employee handbook that ultimately reflects your organization’s core values and cultural ethos.
Now that you are familiar with these basic ways to ensure the reflection of your cultural values within your organization’s employee handbook, make sure you, as the organizational head, impersonate these values and lead by your own example.