As a business owner, you are representing your company at all times. So are your employees! And employees often send the message louder and clearer of who and what your company stands for because they are dealing with your clients more than you are.

As I was waiting for a plane last week, I witnessed an employee loading packages on to a plane. As they fell off the cart, he would kick them over and over again, trying to get them in to the plane with his foot. What image is this giving people who are watching him? I can tell you that as a client of that airline, I was grateful I carried on my luggage!

So how can you make sure that you and your employees give the appearance of a strong and vibrant company? First, establish what your company’s values are. Every company needs to establish its core beliefs, and then build their entire business principle around that belief. Employee manuals should be written in such a way as to provide the knowledge necessary to define the core values of the company, and what is acceptable behavior under all circumstances.

Consider the following ideas when establishing and setting up your company’s policies.

  • How do you want to appear to your client?
  • Who is your target client, and what do they expect?
  • How does your client dress? What stores do they frequent? What interests do they have?
  • How do you want each client greeted? In person? On the phone?
  • How are problems and customer complaints handled?
  • What is acceptable behavior from your employees? Dress code?
  • Provide each employee with a copy of the policy manual. Go over each section and provide follow up sessions as needed.

Remember that nothing is cast in stone, so continually make changes as needed. When you discover areas that are unclear, create clarification. When you discover areas that don’t exist, create them. And when you discover areas that have too much control, don’t be afraid to loosen up, and allow room for creativity.

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Lori Osterberg has been marketing online since 1995. Her popular online newsletter is read weekly by small business owners from around the world. To subscribe visit http://www.VisionOfSuccess.com