Integrate - Making Employee Handbooks Reflect Your Culture

Integrate: Making Employee Handbooks Reflect Your Culture


Employees complain when you don’t have a handbook, but, when you have one, they don’t want it! An employee handbook is very easy to create, but probably the most overlooked aspect of employment documentation. One thing is for sure: if a company has multiple shifts or multiple locations or just multiple employees, an employee handbook can certainly help keep all employees on the same page. Handbooks are always a delicate subject.

But when done right, and with employee input, this tool can make a difference.

  • Make it reflect your Mission Vision and Values  (MVV)
  • Make it relevant
  • Keep it simple
  • Keep it legal and legit

Reflect your MVV. Your handbook should be an absolute reflection of your MVV, which essentially amplifies your culture. Someone who is unfamiliar with your organization should be able to pick up your handbook and see your heart within its reflection simply by the tone and the guiding principles you lay out for your employees. The front of the handbook should contain your MVV, followed by the President’s message as to why the MVV is important to the company and how it was created.

Make it relevant. Having reviewed hundreds of handbooks over the years, one thing is certain and that is that most are horrible. They are irrelevant, often don’t convey the culture of the organization and are more about preaching or dictating than guiding.

Keep it simple. A handbook should not contain every scrap of information about the company. Worse yet, it should not contain every possible scenario in which an employee violation could occur. Keep it simple and you will have a greater impact than if you over-complicate or over-stimulate the reader. Many employees I’ve spoken with over the years tell me that, if a handbook is interesting, they will read it to learn more about the company, but, if it just rambles on over policy and procedures, most will put it down after two pages. The ideal handbook will inspire the reader to learn — learn more about the company.

Keep it legal and legit. Always ensure you include the appropriate legal clauses. There are far too many to list here but a few that come to mind speak toADA, FMLA, Employment at Will, EEOC etc. You want to make sure you cover your bases.

In closing it is important to note that having a handbook is oftentimes the only opportunity for employers to memorialize what is expected of employees. But always include what employees can expect of you! A handbook should never be a one way street of core policies of the organization; if it is, you will chill the warmth right out of the organization, a chill you will live to regret.

We Value Your Comments. Thank you for taking the time to read our post in this series on how to build “Kingdom Minded” Companies. Please share your thoughts and experiences on employee handbooks. How did the ones that you have used fit your organization? Did they match your culture? Did they drive the behaviors the company and employees desire? Thank you for contributing to our community, and thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Organizational Vision In HIS Name HR LLC

Organizational Vision


High-performing organizations have a clearly defined Vision. This Vision helps guide all its employees and supervision to their desired destination and explains why. Companies who have a Vision have a workplace of direction, purpose and achievement. These companies have a Vision of where they want to be, and do the appropriate things to get there. All along the way, they have employees who are enthusiastically a part of it, eagerly supporting the Vision.

What Is an Organizational Vision?

A Vision that is optimal is one that has been created, or at least contributed to, by all employees of the organization. Like the Mission, the more buy-in the organization has, the greater the effectiveness of the Vision.   The Vision should be inspiring! It is where you want to be!   The Vision is what you seeing occurring as you deliver on your Mission. It is where you want your organization to be in five years. We define it as five years but you may prefer to extend that, or, if you are a start-up, you may want to start with a three-year Vision. We prefer five years, because that is a reasonable amount of time for most companies to get to the next step. The Vision must be realistically achievable. If you own a pizza shop, it would not be wise to say your Vision is to grow to a $2 billion-dollar market value. But, an achievable Vision might look like: “We will grow to be a regional choice by consumers by expanding to 10 locations.”

Reflect on the following questions as considerations for building your Vision:
1. How are the market and customer base changing in the next three to seven years?
2. How will that create opportunities for the organization?
3. How can we meet the gap between now and our Vision?
4. How will we surpass our competitors and seek greater market share?
5. What are we doing collectively to capitalize on the changes in business conditions and needs of the business?

Examples:

Amazon “Our vision is to be earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”

Nike “To be the number one athletic company in the world.”

What is the difference between Mission and Vision?

 The most asked question to us surrounding Mission, Vision and Core Values is: what is the difference between a Mission and a Vision? Your Mission is what you do best every day. Your Vision is what the future looks like when you deliver on your Mission so exceedingly well.

High-performing Organizations

There is, unquestionably, a key to high-performing organizations.  That key is Vision — a Vision that ignites the employees of these organizations to achieve great things!

When I worked with the Gatorade Division of Quaker Oats, we smoked the competition.  Why?  We had Vision. And every employee who worked there bought into that Vision.  Powerade and All Sport didn’t have a chance.  In fact, where is All Sport today?  If Gatorade did not take them out completely, they certainly limited their capabilities!

The problem is not with workers in the U.S. What we have today is a problem with leadership — leadership that lacks the ability to create buy-in for excellence in Vision achievement.

If you are a leader, you must develop a Vision, and develop it with employee input.  If you are an employee, make sure you buy into your organization’s Vision. If it needs tweaking, ask to do so with respect. Your leadership will appreciate your interest!

Let’s all work together with our organizations to create Vision, to create a hope and future for everyone.

We Value your Comments.  Please share your thoughts on having an Organizational Vision. How do they fit into your workplace? Do you have a Vision where you work right now? Have you worked at a high-performing organization that did?

Kingdom Minded Company In HIS Name HR LLC

What is a “Kingdom Minded” Company?


Oftentimes as I meet with people to talk about bettering their HR practices, I use the term “Kingdom Minded” company.” More often than not, they are intrigued by the terminology  I use in reference to helping them build their companies. Many Christian business people, pastors and Christian business consultants may have their own opinions or definitions of what a “Kingdom Minded” company is.

I have developed what I believe to be a fairly clear, actionable and measurable way to articulate what a “Kingdom Minded” company is, thus exciting business owners to invest their time, dollars and energy into making their company prosperous and reflective of Christ. So, let me begin by outlining what comprises the framework when building a “Kingdom Minded” company.

Over the next few weeks, I will walk us through a more in-depth look at each piece of the framework. I will ask you to look internally at what you believeyour “Kingdom Minded Purpose” is for your company. In building a “Kingdom Minded” company, the model I have developed contains the following ingredients, listed in order of importance.

These same principles that apply to marketplace businesses do apply to non profit organizations as well.

A “Kingdom Minded” company:

  • Puts Christ First
  • Has a Clear Mission
  • Has a Clear Vision
  • Has Core Values

Has agreed upon Goals and Objectives, especially in:

  • Safety
  • Production
  • Quality
  • Customer Service

And finally,  Strives for Prosperity jointly for the good of its owners, employees and company’s  community.

If you want to enjoy prosperity, you must look inward and address these critical aspects of running your organization.

Having spent over 20 years in HR I can tell you companies that have a well developed and bought-in Mission, Vision and Values will far exceed those who do not. Take a look inside your own organization. Do you have a Mission? A Vision? Core Values? How are you with setting or receiving expectations through organization goals and objectives? Do you collectively work together as a Team for success and prosperity?

 

PodCast In HIS Name HR LLC 1

Interview RevFM


Mark had the honor of being interviewed by RevFM State College PA on May 7, 2011 during the weekly Centre topic show. With over 20 years of Human Resources experience at both fortune (Kodak, Quaker Oats, and Merck Pharma) as well as small and mid sized companies, Mark has seen it all. Please take the time and enjoy Mark’s Podcast interview on how you might best build “Kingdom Minded” organizations in today’s “politically correct” business world. Let Mark inspire you to be bold and brave in your faith, by ensuring Christ is in your workplace.
RevFM Broadcasts on the following frequencies:
  • 89.1 FM – State College/Altoona/Huntingdon/Philipsburg
  • 99.9 FM – Clearfield/DuBois
  • 102.7 FM – Altoona/Hollidaysburg