4 Steps to Creating an Effective Policy and Procedure Manual
“Consistency is dependent on well-trained staff that understand exactly what to do and how to do it, combined with effective follow through and quality control from managers,” notes Antony Whitaker, in his highly acclaimed book GROW 2 Management. He recommends every salon has two manuals, one on Policies & Procedures, the second for Administration Management. By defining what is expected of salon staff and your management team, you create systems that help you reach profitability and business goals.
There are four steps to creating an effective and complete Policy & Procedure Manual. Below Antony shares where to begin and what information you need to compile. This task is not as daunting as it seems, if you follow the steps below.
1. Departmentalize your salon business.
Identify and make a list of all of the departments that exist within your salon business. These would include reception, stylists, colorists, assistants, retail/merchandising, staff training, dispensary and stock control, maintenance, management administration. Some positions or departments may overlap, depending on the size of your salon and number of staff. This is okay – this is your list!
2. List all the functions of each department.
List each department and note all the tasks and responsibilities that fall under that department category. Example: Reception – those functions include opening the salon, preparing the cash/transaction drawer or register, banking, petty cash management, booking clients, handling complaints, and printing daily reports. Again, tailor these task lists to your specific business practice.
3. Describe each duty in detail.
Example from Reception Department listed above: Petty Cash & Payment Transaction Management – a petty cash base is to be maintained with $100 at the start of each day, all purchases must be accompanied with a receipt that is fully legible and have the complete date, responsible for all staff requests for petty cash needed during the day. Define what petty cash and transaction procedures fit the way you manage payments in your salon. Define these duties for every task under each department.
4. Include performance standards.
Following through with the example above: Department: Reception; Functions: Petty Cash & Payment Transactions; Duties: specific description of the Petty Cash & Payment Transactions duty – we then turn to the fourth and final step in completing that section, that of providing performance standards. Example: all receipts and monies collected at end of each day must balance taking into account the starting petty cash sum of $100 identified at start of day; produce a weekly petty cash report with receipts and submit to bookkeeper on Friday at close of business day. These standards need to reflect your expectations and the responsibilities for each task under each department duty.
Once you’ve completed listing all the information, document it in sections keeping the text blocks short and clean. It’s best done as a series of bullet point steps, as in the example above. Once you’ve completed the policy and procedure, then documented by typing this section, you then have a best practice system for how “Petty Cash & Transactions” will be managed. By completing these steps for each department, you then have the content for your Policy & Procedures Manual. You’ll have structure and accountability standards that your staff and management team will follow and appreciate.