𝗣𝗼𝗹𝗶𝗰𝗶𝗲𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝗱𝘂𝗰𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗶𝘁𝘆
No one joins a startup to embrace a bunch of rules and procedures.
At the same time, as the business grows, adding more employees requires policies and systems to be much more defined. Any lack of clarity impedes progress.
Beyond legal regulations, startups need guidelines to optimize productivity. A framework for decisions helps focus on the work.
Policies should not substitute real communication. If a business relies on policies as edicts, I recommend coaching for the leadership.
𝗪𝗵𝘆 𝗪𝗼𝗿𝗸 𝗼𝗻 𝗣𝗼𝗹𝗶𝗰𝗶𝗲𝘀?
Here are some reasons founders can get behind policies:
𝘏𝘦𝘭𝘱 𝘍𝘰𝘤𝘶𝘴 𝘰𝘯 𝘞𝘰𝘳𝘬: By installing guardrails, people can concentrate on their tasks.
𝘛𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵 𝘌𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘍𝘢𝘪𝘳𝘭𝘺: Policies can reinforce an environment where everyone can participate and contribute.
𝘈𝘭𝘭𝘰𝘸 𝘉𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘧𝘪𝘵𝘴: Various benefits and perks to encourage retention should be defined e.g. eligibility, restrictions, and impermanence.
𝘋𝘦𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘦 𝘌𝘹𝘱𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘦𝘴: Staff want clear guidance when it comes to expenses including limitations, submission, and reimbursement.
𝘗𝘳𝘰𝘵𝘦𝘤𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘊𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘢𝘯𝘺: Many policies make it clear to employees what is not acceptable.
Startups are already incredibly stressful and we don't need additional strain. Policies limit unnecessary distractions.
I tell the team that we’re here to do meaningful work in support of company growth AND individual development. They are aligned. We need policies and procedures to focus on handling the work. As we grow, they may expand while you gain skills and responsibilities.
Policies should be created by a PEO, HR expert, or labor attorney based on company needs and various government legislation. While a PEO and HR expert should know the latest regulations, an attorney may be more familiar with current case precedents. Wording is important and these professionals should help.
Policies should be integrated into recruiting methods, employee agreements, contracts, insurance coverage, and marketing content.
𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗕𝗲𝗻𝗲𝗳𝗶𝘁𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗣𝗼𝗹𝗶𝗰𝗶𝗲𝘀
When I roll out a policy manual, I talk about the pros and cons. For instance, the new manual signals we have reached the next level. With policies also comes new opportunities such as larger clients, more creative projects, and access to better software.
Ideally, I like to introduce a new benefit concurrently with a manual. This reinforces that as we grow, there will be good and bad changes.
Policies may also define performance evaluation, salary reviews, and promotion practices which will benefit employees.
Company polices may not seem attractive but they help everyone to concentrate by removing confusion and discouraging distractions.