4 Tips to Create the Perfect Modern Policy Manual


Creating a modern policy manual can seem – and is – a tedious task. Nonetheless, this task is important to the overall success of your business.

Operating a business without a policy manual is like going on a road trip without a map. Policies and compliances won’t be well-defined and may even be contradicted from one day to the next. You and your employees end up feeling frustrated and lost in a headache-inducing mess.

It’s best to avoid all this, right? When things get complicated, a manual is there to guide you and your team. But, some manuals will do a better job than others.

Below, we’ll showcase 4 different tips to create the perfect modern policy manual.

Start Simple With a Template

The use of templates sometimes gets a bad rep – but really, why? Opting to use a template can make the process simpler, and saves you valuable time.

Check with resources such as your local or state small business assocation, or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. There are other templates available online, with Workable being one of our favorites.

If you’d prefer to start from scratch, start simple. Create a plain document, add some headings, and jot a few bullet points under each. You can expand on these points later on.

Be Specific on Compliance

The one section that needs to be specific and detailed is the compliances. Avoid ambiguous terms, figurative speech, and anything that may be misinterpreted. The language in the compliance section (and really, the rest of your manual too) needs to be clear and direct.

Consider facilitating a step-by-step approach to your compliance section. This format will guide you and your employees through compliance-related actions in a concise and repeatable way.

Make it Visual

Policy manuals can feel daunting to read, and this encourages employees to skip through most of the manual. Add visuals to break up large blocks of text, and to make the content more digestible for your employees.

Use images to serve a purpose. Pair visuals with direct text to make work instructions crystal clear. Use static images or short gifs that clearly show whatever action is being described.

Include What Matters

Compliance and regulations matter – but so does the holistic part of your business. Tackle concepts like workplace cultural norms and company values by setting expectations and goals for each. Lay out the values of your company from the start to encourage employees to practice said values from the get-go.