Holacracy Community of Practice Archive, 2015-2019 Community Holacracy Web Site

Policies and Notes as handbook?

Hi,

I'm having a difficult time understanding how to use Policies and Notes as a way to document various rules, norms, processes, guidelines, benefits, and so forth of our organization.

I have a few examples that I could really use your help with to figure out whether they should be policies, notes or something completely outside of Holacracy/Glassfrog. Below is a list of examples we'd like to document:

  • An 8 hour workday on average is the expected norm during each month.
  • Time registration is only mandatory for client-work.
  • If you use environmentally friendly ways of commuting the organization can provide you with a bus card or, alternatively, a grant of <amount> of money.
  • The organization will pay to replace your phone after 2 years and your computer after 3 years if you request it.
  • Criteria used to determine salary placement

Which one of these would you make a policy out of, which a note, and which something else?

Cheers, Dadi.

 

4 Replies
Tyler Danke
12/22/2016

A Policy allows or limits others from impacting a domain. In our organization we have a Team Happiness circle that has a domain of "partner relationships". We interpret "Partner Relationships" to include definition of benefits offered and things that would traditionally be included in an "employee handbook". Therefore our benefits are included as policies in the Team Happiness Circle. We put your first three bullet points as policies in the Team Happiness Circle. 

Your fourth point regarding phone and computer we used to have a defined benefit policy in Team Happiness for Provided equipment, but now using the Spending Authorization process that would cover for that type of stuff so we deleted our Provided Equipment policy. Here is the conversation regarding the spending authorization app on the forum. ...on-base-process-v1-0

The last one is a more complicated topic that I am not qualified nor have the energy to answer.

Dadi
12/22/2016

Thanks for your answer, Tyler.

Let me see if I understand this. So, for example, with the 8 hours a day on average rule we have, we're saying: The Organization and its Partners have agreed that this rule is one of many that constrain/define the relationship between them? 

 

Tyler Danke
12/22/2016

Yes especially if you give that circle / role the domain of "Partner Relationships."

You can see what HolacracyOne is doing for a constitutional amendment regarding Partnership Circle here https://app.glassfrog.com/policies/8223261 

Juliane Martina Röll
12/30/2016

Hey Dadi! Good to hear from you!

Here are a few thoughts:

"An 8 hour workday on average is the expected norm during each month."

I'd create a Role for this: "Norm Keeper" "Expectation Keeper" "Company Culture Documentation" or so, and have that role keep records of such general norms/expectations. This makes this manageable, and you can move fluidly between documenting norms freely (in an external system, or as a note in Glassfrog), making them binding policy, or discarding them alltogether.

"Time registration is only mandatory for client-work."

Not sure I understand this. Are people "registering time" for stuff that they needn't do it for? Then what do they do?

I think you need some Policy around "client-work" here ("when performing client work, a partner must register their time), and some, hm, clear-up about why people do stuff that is unnecessary. An Email to everyone "stop doing that, people!" maybe. :-)

"If you use environmentally friendly ways of commuting the organization can provide you with a bus card or, alternatively, a grant of <amount> of money."

This is unclear to me. What role is speaking there? What is their tension? What are you trying to achieve?

"The organization will pay to replace your phone after 2 years and your computer after 3 years if you request it."

Publish a Note with the Role that takes care of this.

"Criteria used to determine salary placement"

Is there a Role that takes care of this? They could publish a Note.

A few more general notes:

  • We still have a "Company Handbook" (and a Role for it, which I hold) that I am currently trying to reduce to the absolute minimum by converting the "hard facts" content into Policies and Notes, emphasizing the soft, cultural in the Handbook. 
  • Whenever I publish an important piece of information, I try to add a Note that references it from the Role's page in Glassfrog. We use Trello and Slack and a few other tools too, but ideally I think a new team member should be able to find everything relevant for their job & survival in the organisation by going through Glassfrog.
  • (I am thinking about publishing most things as simple notes in Glassfrog, rather than as Documents / PDFs / Trello Cards. Easier to raise tensions about them this way.)

Does this help? Do go more into depth about what you are trying to do - I'll be happy to wrap my brain about it some more.