Having a manual of office procedures is essential for every workplace, particularly for small firms or private companies that are yet starting up whether it is a medical clinic, a law firm, or an administrative office. The primary reason for preparing a manual is to establish the standards of doing certain tasks and to maintain quality manpower. When you develop quality manpower, you can absolutely generate quality goods, products or services for the clients.
Before everything else, you should first have a lawyer as a legal counsel for the office handbook you are going prepare. He might as well give you some advice as to how you are going to organize the manual and he will also be the one in charge for its legalities. The next thing to worry about is the drafting and writing process.
Here are some tips for the writing procedure:
- Write in an easily understandable language. Take note that the readers are the employees. Keep it short and simple. Make it brief and direct to the point. Using complicated and highly-technical terms will just make them confused (especially for the newly-hired personnel) if the time comes that they are going to review the office handbook.
- Give out a positive tone. People will more likely do a given responsibility when told in a lightly-presented manner rather than on a negative tone since it appeals to the human emotions.
- Use the 5 W’s and 1 H in explaining a procedure. (Who, What, When, Where, Why and How). Providing a well-detailed process will not make them miss out on performing small aspects of their job especially for the inventory procedures. This is a very critical part because we are talking here about your resources that are at stake.
- Involve your employees and make them a part of the brainstorming. More often than not, they are the ones who know the specifics and particulars of carrying out their tasks or the personnel procedures. This may also be the venue for discussing their democratic rights such as their employee benefits, medical insurances and leave of absences. Some of your office policies may also be raised here such as rules on dress codes or uniforms.
Of course, after the writing process, a series of editing and modifying should be done for consistencies, grammar checks and some other technicalities of the text.
Next, you may now proceed on the sectioning process. Determine which procedures or policies are for which section. Some sample sections are: Accounting, Administration, Customer Service, Disaster Recovery, Engineering, Environmental, Finance & Credit, Information Systems, Manufacturing, Personnel, Sales and Marketing, Security and Operations, Shipping and Purchasing. It is up to you on how you are going to name each part.
Lastly, finalize the manual by providing a setting for staff and employee consultations. You, along with your attorney and the representatives of each department (or anyone equivalent, if applicable) have the final draft signed to indicate that everyone approved the policies and procedures.
It may be difficult at first to prepare a manual of office procedures, because it will take a lot of time, effort and energy but it will surely pay in the long run. It will guarantee minimum employee supervision while still making them work effectively and efficiently.