You did it: You’ve created company policies that provide structure without stifling your team. This is no small feat, and you should take a beat to congratulate yourself for creating the backbone to your company culture.
Nevertheless, the next step—getting these policies in front of your employees—is a whole other, equally important step. If your employees don’t actively take in and consult your company policies, then what’s the use?
The main trick to actually getting your company policy info into your employees’ hands will be setting up systems to make this policy info something your employees are keen to read—and read regularly.
Of course, that’s much easier said than done, so consult these six steps to make it happen.
First, write it all down—and do it well
It doesn’t matter what you call it—call a spade a spade and label your company policies “Company Policies,” or label them something more explicitly team-facing like “Employee Handbook.” Perhaps you’ll go for something a little less traditional and call it “How Things Work Around Here.” In any case, you’ll need to make sure there’s one, unified document containing all of your company policies.
Of course, you can have subsections of this document, like healthcare benefits policies, paid-time-off policies, or work-from-home policies, for example. But having one, consolidated document of every single one of your company policies will make them easier for your employees to access.
Consistently request employee feedback and questions
Requesting employee feedback on your company policies will encourage your employees to actually read through the document you’ve provided. Plus, it will encourage you to make sure that each and every employee has easy access to your company policies. An easy, piecemeal way to approach this process is by sending out each subsection of your company policy master document (from step 1) every week and requesting feedback and questions on each topic.
You might even go as far to require a minimum amount of questions or thoughts from your team for each section of the company policies before moving on to the next section. This approach will ensure that your team is reading through each policy section and getting their voice heard.
Plant Easter eggs for prizes in the body of your policies
A fun (though potentially costly) way of getting your employees to really get their hands on company policy info and parse through it? Planting easter eggs for prizes in the body of the policy master document.
Make a special edition of your company policy master document, complete with little sentences like “If you’re reading this, you just won a free lunch with the leadership team!” or “Good eye, and great job reading the company policy manual thoroughly! You just won a half day!” Send out that special edition, and in the body of the email, let your team know about the easter eggs and some example prizes.
How you approach this strategy can be as minimalist or as maximalist as you see fit, and prizes don’t necessarily have to be costly. But making an entertaining contest out of it will help ensure that your team has their hands and eyes on your company policies.
Print your final product
Again, this next tip for making your company policies easily accessible will depend on how much you’re willing to spend. But creating a well-printed, easy-on-the-eyes version of your company policy manual will make it much easier—and nicer—to access for your employees. With attractive graphics, sturdy binding, and high-quality paper, your company policy master document could be the key ornament on every desk in your office.
Make a digital handbook easily accessible
This being said, as with most business processes in this day and age, your company policy master document will also need to be digitized. Printed copies are great, but allowing your team to access your company policy info through any given device will make everything that much easier.
For every laptop you provide new hires with, have your company policy manual in the bookmarks bar of the web browser. For every company-wide slack channel, have a link to your company policy manual pinned. And for every HR software that you work with, have that link at-the-ready.
Provide regular presentations as your team shifts or grows
With each new hire that you take on, make sure you’re making the company policy master document as accessible as possible. The printed version of your manual should be the cornerstone to your stack of new hire paperwork, and you should make sure that each new team member receives a thorough presentation of each point that comes up in the document. This process can often feel arduous and monotonous, but taking pains to make sure all company policies are accessible and fully explained will help ensure that you and your whole team are on the same page.
This is especially important as your team grows and your company adds new healthcare benefits—more robust plans and options from different providers, for example—that employees may need to be refreshed on with each yearly enrollment period. Employees should never feel upset that they didn’t understand that one healthcare plan was better for them than another. Take the time to go through all the options available to your workers at each relevant opportunity.
Communicating company policy: the bottom line
There you have it: six steps to making sure your entire team has—and actually reads—your company policy info. After all, crafting your company policies—as complicated and important as it might be—is only the first step to ensuring that they work. Ensuring your policies are accessible for employees to parse through and consult regularly is crucial to seeing that these policies are enacted in the way you intended them to be.
Randa Kriss is a staff writer at Fundera, a marketplace for small business financial solutions such as small business credit cards. She covers human resources, marketing, and small business trends.