Is a Policy & Procedure Manual Really Necessary?

by Bekah Nash


I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that no one truly enjoys the creation and upkeep of a policy & procedure manual.  Is it really even necessary?  ABSOLUTELY!  Now that that question is answered, let’s discuss what a P & P (policy & procedure manual) should contain.


Team Member Handbook

First things first, if you don’t have one of these, stop what you’re doing right now and create one.  This is extremely important as it’s the very best way to communicate your expectations to your employees.  As a side note, be sure to have your handbook checked out by your attorney to ensure that it aligns with the labor laws in your state.


Front Desk Procedures

This may seem like a no brainer to some, but it is important to mention.  Your front desk team needs an easily accessible procedure manual that walks them through everything from appointment confirmation calls to product returns.  Check with your point of sale software company to see what procedures they already have done for training purposes.  You may be pleasantly surprised by how much of the work is already done for you!


Vendor Information

Take a second and think about how many vendors you deal with JUST as it relates to the retail and back bar products you purchase.  For us it’s 17!  How are you keeping track of the way each of these vendors conducts business?  The P&P is a great place to keep contact information for the company and it’s representatives as well as their customized rewards system and return policy.  It would be impossible to recall from memory all of that information when needed.


Back of House (Human Resources) Procedures

Here’s another question for you ponder: how much of your HR processes are unique to your business?  Unless you’re operating a small business that’s part of a large company of chains, virtually ALL of your processes are specialized for your salon.  Because of this, it’s extremely important that you create detailed procedures for your HR processes.  For instance, we have a procedure for granting time-off for employees.  Why?  Because at our salon, there are documents that must be turned by the employee by a certain number of weeks before the time-off requested.  Additionally, there are certain steps our manager must take if denying or granting the time off.  This system, while likely similar to your’s, is unique to our salon.  


Owning an updated, comprehensive Policy & Procedure Manual will go far in making your job easier in the long-run as a salon owner.  If all the procedures are securely in your brain and your brain only, how will your team conduct your business in the way you wish?  If a trusted long-term employee departs, how will you go about educating your new team members on the way things should be done?  I urge you to take the time to create this if you don’t already have one.  And if you do, but it’s outdated, take the time to update and do so regularly.  You will find yourself at peace more often because your employees can flip through the pages of the P&P for answers instead of constantly asking you!