Part 4 | Company Manual
In this module we are going to talk about having a team manual. We recommend you download the Team Manual and follow along as we explain the concepts.
When we first started The Life Coach School, we thought we’d never have a manual because no one ever looks at a manual. Then, as the organization grew, we realized the importance of having one. And the thing is, you don’t have to follow some corporate template, you can put whatever you want in it.
We will give you our team manual as an example that you can follow, but we wouldn’t recommend you copy it exactly. You need to use your own voice and make it your own.
Manual Structure and Philosophy
In our team manual, every single concept gets one page and one page only. This is called one sheet management. You should be able to look at one sheet and get the idea of what we want you to know. It also forces your brain to be concise, which is easier for everyone to understand.
We start the manual with a table of contents and have all the pages numbered. The next page is about our company philosophy, which is what we believe about doing business. We then outline the rules and you’ll notice there are not very many. The thing is, if you have too many rules, then you’re hiring the wrong people.
Business Model and Company Plan
The next pages are the business model and company plan. We have a 10 year vision, one year goal, and quarterly goals where every employee has three “rocks” for the quarter. The “rocks” concept comes from this idea of putting a bunch of rocks and pebbles in a jar. The only way to fit all the rocks in the jar is by putting the big rocks in first and then you can pour the pebbles in around it. So each employee has three rocks they focus on each quarter. You will need to update this page as it changes.
Operations, Systems, and Narrative
The next page showcases the operations we have for how we hire, onboard, and work. We then outline the four main systems we use in our company. We use Slack, Basecamp, Dropbox, and SweetProcess, and we define them.
Calendar, Hiring, and Pay
The next page is a review of what we put on our company calendar. One thing we offer all our team members is six weeks paid vacation. It’s a beautiful thing because they get to go have time off and they also have to have a backup who is trained in their job. It forces employees to create great processes that others can follow because employees are not allowed to check in when on vacation.
We then have pages on our philosophy around hiring and onboarding and then a page on bonuses and pay. We feel it’s important for employees to know how they’re going to get paid and how raises and bonuses work.
Manager, Meetings, and Evaluations
On the manager page, we share instructions on what is required of managers for each employee they manage. Then we share about meetings and what’s required of employees to report each week.
We have everyone read the evaluation page so they know what they’re going to be evaluated on. Our evaluations focus on our values, which helps everyone align to what we stand for as a company.
Filters, Holidays, and Glossary
The next page lists our communication filters that we talked about earlier. We make these available online so that everyone can copy and paste them to use when communicating. We then list the holidays we take off as a company and include a company glossary.
As we had new employees come on, they didn’t know what different acronyms and abbreviations meant. Having a glossary is really helpful because employees can just look up what different things mean. We keep adding to his glossary as we create more products, new abbreviations, and new shorthand for things.
Keep It Simple
As new employees read this manual they are super appreciative because it’s so simple. All of this information may seem obvious, but we often overlook the obvious. You want it to be something you could read out loud and everyone understand. We read our manual out loud every year.
You don’t need to be fancy. Just make it something people will actually use.