Why you should document your procedures…
You hear me say it a lot, and I suggest ways to do it, but I still hear you asking, ‘Why should I document my procedures?’.
Writing procedures is a MUST if you have, or plan, to bring on employees. The benefits far out weigh the ‘pain’ of writing them down, but when you use someone like me to write them down for you, the pain goes away too.
I still need to tell you why…
Many problems with employees and inefficiencies in your business stem from how well you have documented your processes. If you haven’t documented any, then you are opening your business up to a multitude of problems and you will spend more time fixing things than it would have taken you to document your procedures in the first place. Imagine having two or three employees (or even more!) and they’re responsible for doing the same work, but none of them are doing it the same way. You might see some consistency in what they’re doing, but for the most part everyone is working off their own ‘song book’. It makes it hard to identify where an issue has occurred when one happens, it makes it hard to follow-up with a task or have it started with one person and finished with another. Inefficiency comes from people not doing what they do consistently, and that includes different personnel doing the same task. Document your procedures and most of this problem will go away.
If you have written processes down and you’re still seeing problems, then the issues can stem from how well you’ve written them, how well you’ve trained people to follow them or it might even be that you haven’t captured all the information that you need. All of these are problems that can be fixed with the right help. I can help you, but you need to first tell me what the issue is that you’re seeing and then I can work through it with you. Every business, even ones in the same industry are operating differently so you can’t necessarily adapt and do what another business is doing and expect to see the same success. If you don’t want my help to work through your issues, then you can also try with my Free Download Be more efficient in three easy steps.
Another reason you should document your procedures is so that you can delegate or take a break from your business! Documenting what you do doesn’t meant that you hand everything over to your employees, but it means that you can if you want to! There will always be some tasks that remain yours, until you go on leave. There will always be tasks that in time will make more sense to hand them over to someone else permanently. When you document them, that process of handover becomes ever so much easier! And when you document them well, it becomes even easier still. Think of how awesome it will feel to be able to hand over some of what you do that is tying you down. Think of how awesome it will feel to be able to take break for a couple of days or a week or two and not be constantly interrupted by questions or to come back to find more work than when you left, or mistakes to fix because you employees didn’t know what to do or how to do it properly. If you want to get a head start now on experiencing this sense of freedom, then book your session with me and we can get started. If you do have your processes written down and you’re not seeing these benefits, then it illustrates that one of the issues is that you don’t have them documented adequately, or you’re not including the right processes. This can be the result of being too close to what needs to be done. You’re so competent at what you do, that you don’t know how to write them for someone that is new to the task.
That is where my help comes in. When you talk through your processes to me, I am able to extract the right information so that all that you need gets documented. How can I do that if I don’t know what you do? It’s what makes me me. It’s also what I’m trained to do. Having seen the value of documenting processes even before I entered the world of Quality Assurance in the pharma and medical device industries, it means that I have been writing procedures for more than twenty years. I have also inherited or been asked to follow procedures written by others that make next to no sense to anyone but the author. This has lead me to revise and in some cases totally recreate them so that everyone can follow them! Heck, I even rewrote instructions for our new oven at home so that everyone could set the timer properly for it’s different functions! I’m an auditor, so I know how to ask the right questions to extract the information that you need to include into your documented procedures. I’m a trainer, which means I have had to create training material and train many people in new tasks. I understand what is needed to teach something to someone that is new to a task, or even teach them more of what they already know. All of this experience and skill means that when I write your processes down, everyone will be able to follow them. They might need some training (and I can help with material for that too!), but you will have the peace of mind that your business will run smoothly in your absence.
If you’re having trouble with existing employees, whether it be repeated mistakes, or not doing what you need them to do, then look at your procedures and processes. There are many reasons for under-performance with an employee (and I can help you work through those too), but the first place to look will be at the processes and policies that you have documented. Putting them all together in an operations manual is a great way to make it easy for your employees to access and follow. Making sure that the procedures they’re following are clearly written, are unambiguous and easy to follow is the next key to improving their performance. An under-performing employee might not be aware of what your expectations are, so it is your job to make it clear to them, and I can help you do that by getting all that you need done documented.
Can you see now just some of the value that you gain from documenting your processes? Think of all of the time and/or money that you’ve invested in creating your website, creating copy and marketing what you do. A lot of you are happy to invest in (and see the value of) paying someone to do these things for you and you see the difference between what you create and what a specialist creates. I’m your specialist when it comes to documenting your procedures. The value in your investment into your website, copy and marketing decreases if once your customers come to you they are not seeing consistent or competent service being provided. Let me help you eradicate that decline in value. Let me help you make your business run more efficiently and become a bigger success by booking that first session so that we can determine together exactly what it is that your business can benefit from by working with me.
I look forward to working with you!