Free Company Handbook for Highly-Empowering Organizations

TEMPLATE: Company Handbook, Open Floor Policy, and Bullying Policy

Hands-Off Leadership is suitable for businesses in all countries, industries, and cultures.

Clarity That Creates Universal Safety and Excellence

HOW do we do what we do? Make that clear and get it right, and everything becomes easier. These resources help you implement what you saw and felt in the Open Floor Policy chapter (in the CLARITY section) of NEVERBOSS: Great Leadership by Letting Go.

Even well-meaning processes can undermine safety and trust. "Open door" polices are a classic example since they can encourage rumor mills and distrust. So how to you have excellent communication without the problems?

Neverboss Hardcover Book

As shown in the book.
"Brilliant."

The answer is policies and systems that encourage communication in ways that REINFORCE safety. Once safety is assured, communication can flow, issues get resolved well, and ownership and initiative can take hold and flourish.

This Sample Company Handbook is your recommended starting point if you don't have an effective one now. Copy the whole document, or lift sections suit your own needs. Edit at will. It is agile, so we update it from time to time, and so should you. It is not intended to be perfect all at once. It includes things you may not need, so check with your attorney to adapt it to meet your own needs in your locality.

Click the image below to open the Google Doc template.

ACTION items relating to this document appear below.​

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Company Handbook for organizations using Hands-Off Leadership and NEVERBOSS principles

RELATED ACTIONS

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 and harassment are easy to handle when the right policies are in place

​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:

  • Create a starting hiring page for your company, based on Moneyball hiring principles. (Click link for a sample document you can edit.)
  • 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. (Click for a second sample document you can edit.)
  • 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.
Kevin Crenshaw
 

Kevin, our approachable CEO, is the author of NEVERBOSS: Great Leadership by Letting Go. He's also a consultant, keynote speaker, Rapid Turnaround CEO, and creator of both Hands-Off Leadership™ and Total Relaxed™ Organization. He loves people, leadership, coaching, speaking, tackling tough problems, and physics, but not usually all at once.

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