A LYS reader asks:
“Hey Sean, I have been thinking about my staff handbook over the past month and I remember reading your post whereby you talked about a simple handbook you used in the past. What did you include? I really want to get away from having a book just because that is the way it has always been done. I want something that will actually be used and looked at!”
What I did with my handbook was to write it based on my expectations. For example, instead of saying “You are late if you are not here by…,” I wrote, “All staff are expected to be on time.” For dress code, I wrote, “Staff will dress at or above student dress requirements.”
As for topics, I tried to cover the things that everyone needed to know. On all the things that were in the previous handbook, but we never had to deal with, I wrote a statement along the lines of, “In situations and cases not addressed in this book, staff are expected to conduct themselves as professionals and rely on their training, experience, and common sense.”
My idea was to set a standard, instead of trying to manage to every possible exception. By doing that, I was able to dramatically reduce the size of the handbook and it changed the conversations that I had with staff. Instead of arguing the validity of an excuse, discussions were based on the fact that an expectation was not met and what the staff member must do to meet the expectation in the future.
Think. Work. Achieve.