If you have employees, you NEED an employee handbook!
I just went through the process of helping a client come up with a draft of her employee handbook. You’re probably thinking, how is an employee handbook marketing related?
Many people think employee handbooks should come out of HR but the truth is, they should be created using input from both HR and marketing. When it comes to attendance policies, disciplinary procedures, vacation times, etc., yes, those are all things driven by HR policies. But, there are also a number of things that are marketing related that should be included.
With that said, if you are creating or updating your employee handbook I would recommend getting a marketing professional’s input to make sure you’re covered from a marketing standpoint.
Not sure what should be included marketing wise? In the next section I’ll break it down for you!
Marketing Related Sections to Include in Your Employee Handbook
How your team interacts with your clients will directly impact your business and your marketing efforts. You could spend all the money in the world on marketing and advertising but if someone comes to your business and they don’t receive good customer service, your marketing efforts are wasted. Customer service can make or break a business.
With that said, detailing how you expect your team to interact with clients should be covered in your handbook. Clients will come back again and again, if you’re providing them with a good service and a good customer experience. From a marketing perspective, getting new clients is much harder and more expensive then retaining existing clients. So, when you set the expectations upfront in your employee handbook and your team consistently delivers good service, you should be able to shift your marketing efforts from client acquisition to client retention.
One of the biggest complaints I hear from owners is that they feel their employees expect THEM to bring in business while they just provide the service. This very hard to change with an existing relationship.
An employee handbook can help you set your expectations right out of the gate and explain to new employees via your handbook that you not only expect them to help market your business and fill their own schedule, but it’s also part of their job. I talk about this in greater detail below.
Social media can be a big help for beauty brands. It works even better when your team contributes to your efforts on social media BUT you must set your expectations up front to avoid issues.
You should consider including a social media policy in your handbook that details how your team should be acting on social media. You want to cover things like how employees act, engage and leverage their OWN social media accounts plus what you’d like them to contribute to the company’s accounts and how.
Business Development, Commission and Retail Sales
Compensation is always a top item covered in employee handbooks. As I mentioned above, many beauty business owners struggle with teams that don’t want to be a part of marketing and business development. In your employee handbook, you should set clear expectations around what role you expect your team to play in marketing and business development. Is client acquisition your job as the owner? Their job? Or a combination of the two? As I mentioned above, this is a sticking point for a lot of owners, so whatever your expectations, include it in your employee handbook and create a compensation plan around it.
When it comes to upselling and product sales, you should also set expectations around this in your employee handbook. If you set your expectations up front that your team should be upselling and promoting product sales, it will ultimately help with your bottom line. If you get a team member that slumps with sales, you have a signed copy of your handbook that shows them product sales are part of their job description.
So, you can see that when it comes to service businesses, HR, your employee handbook and marketing are connected. Marketing isn’t the only thing that will effect your bottom line, HR policies can too. Include expectations for each in your handbook to ensure everyone is on the same page.
If you need help crafting the marketing portion of your employee handbook, contact me for a consultation!