Clarity That Supports Hands-Off Leadership
Clarity and structure can suffer in smaller, newer, or fast-growing companies. The result?Micromanagement—to try to manage risk. But micromanaged workers stop caring.
Instead, establish clarity based on principles, and managers can start to give authority without fear. This Company Handbook is a helpful starting point.
Edit this document to suit your own needs. It is agile. It is not perfect, and you'll need to check with your own company attorney to see if it meets your needs in your locality and as laws change over time. It will change regularly. Check back often to see the latest version.
Click the image below to open the Google Doc template.
ACTION items relating to this document appear below.
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CHAPTER: Open Floor Policy
ACTION: Add the Open Floor Policy to Your Company Handbook
Introduce the Open Floor Policy to your people. Inform everyone in your team or organization of the new policy change. Announcing and discussing in-person is ideal since this is a face-to-face policy.
Here is the Open Floor Policy in a simplified form.
When you have an issue with someone, (optionally) talk with your manager about it first, who will advise but not act on what you say. Then you MUST go directly to the person to try to resolve it. Ask, listen, and discuss with mutual empathy, mutual respect, and mutual purpose. If you don't get satisfaction or you don't feel safe, then take it (back) to the manager and the three of you will resolve it together or escalate it to the next manager, and on up the line.
A FULL Open Floor Policy is found in the Company Handbook document, above. Open it, and look for Open Floor Policy in the table of contents, and copy and paste.
ACTION: (Special Situations) Bullying
Bullying is emotional harassment that doesn’t always rise to the legal definition of harassment, but it's still serious. (If you don't have a good written bullying policy, add one to your handbook.)
The Company Handbook above has a good bullying policy you can copy. Open it, find "Harassment or Bullying" in the table of contents, and copy and paste into your own Company Handbook as a starting point.
One subtle, damaging kind of bullying is "repeated, unsubstantiated complaints against another worker that put them at risk of their job." When this happens it can derail your Open Floor Policy if you're not prepared. However, if you add that definition to your bullying policy, the solution is simple. Take every accusation totally seriously. Investigate. Document everything. Write down what the findings were, what action was taken. Then you keep permanent, written score. At the end, was it warranted, unwarranted, or undetermined? After someone has filed 3-4 unwarranted accusations in a row, remind them gently:
“Everyone has the right to be safe here. You may have noticed this updated policy in our handbook. Bullying and harassment includes repeated, unsubstantiated complaints against others. How can we make sure that in the future, your concerns can be substantiated? Otherwise it’s going to look like you’re bullying Joe.”
CHAPTER: Moneyball Talent
ACTION: Transform Your Hiring Process
Change your hiring process to the Moneyball standard. This works brilliantly for almost any position:
- Decide what skills and attributes are really needed. Keep it short.
- Decide that you will not wade through resumes anymore.
- Create initial interview sorting questions that reveal their initiative, expertise, and potential.
- Give them a tiny chunk of work and see if they can do it.
- Be sure to ask the salary question (three levels) as described in the chapter.
- Post your first position on your web site for people to start self-recruiting.
- Once they pass the online interview, internal, face-to-face interviews begin as usual, but still focused on the same kinds of skills questions and Hands-Off Leadership culture fit.