Here’s a riddle for you…What is in everyone’s office, that everyone MUST have, everyone MUST read and understand, but no one can place their hands on? Answer? The Employee Handbook.
I find it curious that, as leaders, we spend untold hours writing, editing, adding (very rarely DELETING), publishing and reviewing our rules, procedures, values and beliefs in our employee handbook year after year with the same results…no one reads it!
I came across Nordstrom’s employee handbook recently as I was searching for new ideas to aide in editing an existing handbook. What I found gave me pause to ponder.
By anyone’s standards, I believe it safe to conclude that Nordstrom is a successful retail chain. Can you imagine what their employee handbook looks like? You might be surprised; I know I was. Their entire handbook is 2 pages.
Page one states their Number 1 Goal – “Provide outstanding customer service.”
Page two states their only “Rule” – “Use good judgment in all situations.”
Pretty simple, but efficient. No doubt EVERY employee could articulate these expectations without blinking an eye. Is the same true in your organization? Do a simple test and ask ten people to write it down.
Consider the value in razor sharp vision. As we enter a new year, consider refining your handbook to simply two pages. Tell me…tell your organization…
What IS your Number 1 Goal?
What IS your ONE rule?