Growing fast is a key characteristic for an Start up. Startups are evolving everyday adding new employees, new teams, new features, new processes, and as the company grows, employees have to step back farther and farther to see the big picture. To maintain alignment while growing, it’s critical that everyone is on the same page. To help do this, I have created a handbook template that will enable startups to build a common space. With it, the company could ensure that everyone is receiving the same, most important information.
Although the need for an internal company handbook is obvious, it is less obvious how to do it. How do decide what goes in it? How to structure the information? How much of a freedom should everyone have in adding information? Below, I’ve laid out some principles that guided the creation of this doc:
Establish a Single Source of Truth
Having a single source of truth is really important. It is common for an startup to use lot of different tools and software, and all of these tools have their own purposes, but we needed one tool to pull all of it together into a single place in order to avoid duplicated and outdated info keeping processes efficient allowing people to work better and achieve their goals.
Support Autonomy with Structure
Creating a company handbook is a cross-functional project which will require input from every department. The best way to get buy-in is to make everyone a part of the process. Asking department leaders to be responsible for the content on their own team’s page is the best way to get the most accurate, important information across. At the same time, providing a basic structure helps keep information in the handbook consistent and expectations in check.
Less Is More
That said, it’s important to be discerning about what information is included in the handbook, and what’s not. A good company handbook functions like Grand Central Station, or any central hub for transit: a starting point for accessing everything else. People come and go for the information they need, but don’t need to stay for very long. Outside of on-boarding, most people don’t need to spend their entire day buried in this doc.
We’ve limited our wiki to include only the most important information:
- WHY we do what we do is driven by our Mission and Vision
- HOW do we work
- HOW do we communicate with each other.