No one could predict the business impact of Covid-19. For the past year, every company has been operating through uncertainty. Whilst further change is inevitable, how can we keep staff safe and fully informed about new ways of working? With a staff-handbook.
Resilient businesses seeking out fresh opportunities
Although the media highlights organisations at the point of collapse, many organisations have proved resilient. The latest Office of National Statistics (ONS) data on the impact of Coronavirus on the UK economy shows that 77% of UK businesses are still trading. We are experiencing a substantial economic downturn but, businesses are fighting back.
For some companies, the pandemic has provided fresh opportunities. Many small businesses were quick to respond to changing customer needs and it paid off. Having won new customers, we hope that good service and a sense of loyalty will bring benefits through the coming year.
We have no idea what 2021 will bring, however, your employees are the heart of your businesses. Great customer service is far more likely to come from a positive, informed and supported team. So, if you want to keep them motivated, ensure they remain fully informed, seek their input and recognise their achievements.
Taking on new tew team members
In these times of flux, it’s more important than ever to make new members of the team feel welcomed. Especially if they will be working remotely or at least not in the usual busy office environment of olden days!
A Staff Handbook can be a great way to make people feel part of the team and to share essential knowledge. Not only the policies but the company vision and spirit.
- Welcome new members to the team
- Share your company vision and values so they get excited about how their role fits in
- Let them know the key rules and where to find full policies on things like pensions, parental leave, personal development and equal opportunities
I have created a template Staff Handbook template that you can use as the basis for your own document, which can be downloaded at the bottom of this blog.
Keeping up to speed in a time of rapid change
We are living in a time when advancing technology and innovations mean that our business model, processes and procedures need regular updating. The pandemic didn’t halt progress; it fast-tracked the rate of change in many businesses.
There has been a shift towards digitalisation and flexible working in recent years, but in 2020, decisions were made overnight. Lockdown restrictions meant that remote working, selling online and diversification were some of the business decisions that were implemented at speed. There was no choice but to adapt.
The challenge with change management is keeping everyone in the team properly informed. This can be difficult when many employees are working remotely or furloughed and uncertainty is a constant. Whilst adding to the challenge, these factors make regular communication essential for consistent business delivery.
Ensuring consistent business delivery
As we start a new year, it is important to provide clear, specific information to your team. They have all experienced a roller-coaster ride of a year and now is the time to address their needs. Right now, every employee needs clarity and reassurance.
A digital staff handbook can be a useful tool in this process. Use it to:
- Define the business goals and company values – with a flexible workforce, the focus should be on how each team member contributes to achieving goals and outcomes, rather than the detail of how, where and when they work.
- Outline processes and give details on where the full procedures can be accessed – ensure that everyone understands the new ways of working and expected standards.
- Explain employee roles and responsibilities – make sure that everyone knows who is responsible for specific parts of the business.
- Address workplace Health & Safety requirements – for the first time, this may need to be adapted for remote workers with considerations including workstation assessments. A survey by H&S software specialists, Protecting, shows that safe home working conditions have yet to be addressed by the majority of businesses.
- Detail HR Information and working practices – Covid-19 has made us all aware of the need to address employee well-being. Share good working practices and available support networks.
- Clarify company measures to maintain data security – from secure networks, strong passwords and anti-malware software to GDPR complaint storage of customer and supplier information.
No matter where they are working, employees can use a digital staff handbook for reference. This document should not be static; on-going changes are inevitable, but once you have created the initial digital document, updating it will be straightforward.
Create a staff handbook
To simplify the process, 3DVA has produced a staff handbook template, which can be downloaded, for free, below. My business services include the creation of a branded version, with the contents tailored for your organisation. If you would like to discuss this option, please get in touch.
Staff Handbook: Free Download
Click the download button below and enter your email address to receive your free Staff Handbook Template.
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