Have you ever been frustrated by putting a lot of work (and money) into a set of procedures, only to see them sit on a shelf without being used? Or maybe you do not have procedures because you haven’t had the time or you want people to be innovative, only to have to deal with the chaos created when everyone does it their own way. Successfully executing your business strategy relies on key business functions that are executed consistently and flawlessly, following clear procedures. Here are some key tips to help you successfully write and implement procedures that support your business strategy:
Tip #1 Determine Where You Need Procedures – Creating too many procedures or the wrong ones can overwhelm and frustrate employees. Focus on the areas where procedures are required by regulations, internal needs, and to live up to key objectives of the organization.
Tip #2 Write Procedures With Training in Mind – Most procedures are written to satisfy technical and regulatory requirements rather than how to train employees effectively to execute on the requirements. If you focus the writing style on the worker, you can still meet those regulatory and company requirements while simplifying how you can train employees.
Tip #3 Keep Them Simple – It is more difficult to simplify requirements but well worth the effort. Simplify by breaking procedures into Tasks with no more than 5 or 6 Steps for each and use pictures and graphics to replace words where possible.
Tip #4 Style Matters – When an employee looks at a procedure, it should be inviting to read. The use of pictures and graphics, white space and overall layout should make it easy to grasp key concepts at a glance. If procedures look and feel technical, with loads of text, they make it difficult to engage employees.
Tip #5 Reinforce Them to Get Results – Procedures should only be created to achieve specific outcomes. If you write them with training in mind, incorporate them into the training and competency process, and then follow up and reinforce them on the job, you can achieve amazing results.
Procedures often get a bad reputation as something that is needed but seldom used and followed. Leverage your investment by developing procedures that are easy to teach, follow and reinforce to execute your business strategy effectively. With routine tasks being performed flawlessly, you actually create more time in your day for innovation and creativity to improve and grow your business.
“Genius is making complex ideas simple, not making simple ideas complex”.