Thoughts about hr and management in the real world – extra information I couldn't fit in my books!.
We all know that attention spans are getting shorter. I might even lose some of you before this sentence is over….
We know this, yet we seem to think our managers and employees are happy to read long, boring policies. Could short and snappy be a better way to go? Could micro policies (think Twitter style with it’s 140 character limit) set out the guidelines but also be written in a way that people want to read them?
Here’s an example. At Elephant we help many companies with their HR policies. In a business we recently started working with, there was a vehicle policy in place – written by a lawyer – which was 6 pages long. There were 2 clauses which were half a page each and very legalistic (I can’t publish them but if you’ve read policies written by lawyers you’ll know what I’m talking about).
For our revised version which was 1.5 pages, written in plain language, we wrote the 2 half page clauses like this:
Now imagine if you did a micro policy? The whole policy might read:
Would this cover you? I think for 99% of employees it would. Instead we write a 6 page policy for the one person who is still going to cause issues to try and cover every situation that might come up.
Would you company be game to try and micro size your policies?