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5 Simple Ways to Get Your Employees to Document Processes

January 19, 2023

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Documenting processes is the best way for small businesses to improve revenue in 2023. But simply investing in your documentation isn’t enough. Because in order to get it to work, you must also get buy-in from your team to write down what they do and keep it updated.

So, how do you actually make sure that documentation is being followed? And how do you motivate employees to keep company knowledge up-to-date?

To find out, we talked to Adi Klevit, founder and CEO of Business Success Consulting Group, Process People community member, and a Trainual certified consultant. Adi has helped hundreds of companies grow using processes, so she understands how to get team buy-in.

In our chat, Adi touched on five simple ways to motivate employees and make sure you get the best results from your documentation.

1. You have to believe in it — or no one else will.

Despite being a cliche, there’s real truth in the saying, “It starts at the top.” Because without your buy-in (and your leadership’s), employees just won’t take to documentation. “The business owner, the C-suite, and the leadership team have to be behind [documentation],” Adi explained.

For example, let’s say an issue pops up during the sales process. In this scenario, leadership can go into Trainual, review the process, and find the problem. Or, they can skip the process altogether, go straight to the employees, and explain the instructions in person.

While both of these strategies solve the issue, the second one (skipping the documentation) shortchanges the power of process — and that creates a behavior for employees to model.

“[Leaders must] create a habit of using the documentation to run the organization,” Adi told us. And to do that, you really need to embrace the practice of writing things down and consistently referring back to them when problems arise — eventually, that behavior will spread throughout the rest of the organization.

"[Business leaders] have to really believe that documentation should be done and everyone should take part [in it].”
<blockquoteauthor>Adi Klevit, founder and CEO of Business Success Consulting Group<blockquoteauthor>

2. Make it easy to access and update.

When leaders first start documenting, they might jot down a few processes in Word or Google Docs. But because these files and links often get lost, they’re difficult to access. “[These documents] are somewhere on the computer but nobody can find [them],” Adi explained.

A man frantically searching around a room.

If you really want to get buy-in from your team, you need to make the information a question away for employees. And for Adi, that means using a cloud-based program like Trainual to document your company knowledge. So everyone can easily access the information anywhere.

“You have to keep [documentation] current and not obsolete,” Adi explained. “With Trainual, you can just log in [to the program] and always know where [your documentation] is.” That way, any employee with access to the documentation can log in, check it, and update it when necessary.

3. Point out the wins to build momentum.

Whenever you make an organizational-wide change, it helps to motivate employees with wins along the way. You can make sure that happens (with process documentation) by choosing a department that’s notoriously chaotic or consistently on fire.

“If your HR staff is stable [and you start documenting there], it's demoralizing because you won’t see many changes,” Adi told us. “[But if you’re hiring for operations or sales], you're going to have great documentation.” That’s because you see how providing order improves performance.

Then, actively share these documentation wins with the rest of your employees so you can motivate all of your departments to document what they do — and protect company knowledge from every facet of the organization.

“[Documenting process and policy] in a very focused, planned way gives you immediate wins [that create an impact in the organization].”

4. Take documentation in stride — not as if it’s a marathon.

Documenting the details of your business is not an overnight project. It will take time to decide what to record, write it all down, and get everyone on board. But if you remind your employees that it’s an ongoing activity and perfection is not the goal, you can motivate them to just start.

“Don't overthink it; get started, and find an area that will give you the biggest return on investment,” Adi shared. That way, you solve the biggest problems first, see the results of standardization, and spread that behavior slowly (but surely) across the organization.

For example, don’t ask employees to “document every process and policy.” Instead, ask them to think about their most critical tasks (or the ones with the most hiccups) and begin there. This way, they start with the low-hanging fruit, experience the benefits, and stay motivated to document.

A man saying, "All your hard work is about to pay off."

Plus, when you use a process documentation platform, it takes less time to plan out processes and policies — and you can save your work for later. “You can go into Trainual, [see] the sales subject, and populate it,” Adi shared. “[Maybe] you continue [the documentation] later, but at least you got started.” All that’s to say: Take it step by step, and don’t overwhelm employees.

5. Assign people as process leaders.

In addition to taking documentation in stride, it also helps to have a process leader. This person commits to a culture of writing things down, goes back to the documentation (when problems pop up), and ensures that knowledge stays updated.

“If there is a problem or issue that needs to be discussed, [leaders] need to use processes and procedures [to figure out what went wrong],” Adi explained. This might be the business owner or managers in smaller businesses — or it could even be front-line employees for bigger teams.

Either way, assigning certain people as document advocates makes it easier to get team buy-in. Because with their advocacy and actions, you spread a culture of prioritizing company knowledge and eventually get an entire team focused on documenting processes.

Just like any sort of change at your organization, it will take meaningful action to get all your employees on board with documentation. But with time, documentation becomes the standard, going back to the process second nature, and updating the company knowledge top of mind.

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Article

5 Simple Ways to Get Your Employees to Document Processes

January 19, 2023

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You're all signed up! Look out for the next edition of The Manual Weekly coming Wednesday am!
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Documenting processes is the best way for small businesses to improve revenue in 2023. But simply investing in your documentation isn’t enough. Because in order to get it to work, you must also get buy-in from your team to write down what they do and keep it updated.

So, how do you actually make sure that documentation is being followed? And how do you motivate employees to keep company knowledge up-to-date?

To find out, we talked to Adi Klevit, founder and CEO of Business Success Consulting Group, Process People community member, and a Trainual certified consultant. Adi has helped hundreds of companies grow using processes, so she understands how to get team buy-in.

In our chat, Adi touched on five simple ways to motivate employees and make sure you get the best results from your documentation.

1. You have to believe in it — or no one else will.

Despite being a cliche, there’s real truth in the saying, “It starts at the top.” Because without your buy-in (and your leadership’s), employees just won’t take to documentation. “The business owner, the C-suite, and the leadership team have to be behind [documentation],” Adi explained.

For example, let’s say an issue pops up during the sales process. In this scenario, leadership can go into Trainual, review the process, and find the problem. Or, they can skip the process altogether, go straight to the employees, and explain the instructions in person.

While both of these strategies solve the issue, the second one (skipping the documentation) shortchanges the power of process — and that creates a behavior for employees to model.

“[Leaders must] create a habit of using the documentation to run the organization,” Adi told us. And to do that, you really need to embrace the practice of writing things down and consistently referring back to them when problems arise — eventually, that behavior will spread throughout the rest of the organization.

"[Business leaders] have to really believe that documentation should be done and everyone should take part [in it].”
<blockquoteauthor>Adi Klevit, founder and CEO of Business Success Consulting Group<blockquoteauthor>

2. Make it easy to access and update.

When leaders first start documenting, they might jot down a few processes in Word or Google Docs. But because these files and links often get lost, they’re difficult to access. “[These documents] are somewhere on the computer but nobody can find [them],” Adi explained.

A man frantically searching around a room.

If you really want to get buy-in from your team, you need to make the information a question away for employees. And for Adi, that means using a cloud-based program like Trainual to document your company knowledge. So everyone can easily access the information anywhere.

“You have to keep [documentation] current and not obsolete,” Adi explained. “With Trainual, you can just log in [to the program] and always know where [your documentation] is.” That way, any employee with access to the documentation can log in, check it, and update it when necessary.

3. Point out the wins to build momentum.

Whenever you make an organizational-wide change, it helps to motivate employees with wins along the way. You can make sure that happens (with process documentation) by choosing a department that’s notoriously chaotic or consistently on fire.

“If your HR staff is stable [and you start documenting there], it's demoralizing because you won’t see many changes,” Adi told us. “[But if you’re hiring for operations or sales], you're going to have great documentation.” That’s because you see how providing order improves performance.

Then, actively share these documentation wins with the rest of your employees so you can motivate all of your departments to document what they do — and protect company knowledge from every facet of the organization.

“[Documenting process and policy] in a very focused, planned way gives you immediate wins [that create an impact in the organization].”

4. Take documentation in stride — not as if it’s a marathon.

Documenting the details of your business is not an overnight project. It will take time to decide what to record, write it all down, and get everyone on board. But if you remind your employees that it’s an ongoing activity and perfection is not the goal, you can motivate them to just start.

“Don't overthink it; get started, and find an area that will give you the biggest return on investment,” Adi shared. That way, you solve the biggest problems first, see the results of standardization, and spread that behavior slowly (but surely) across the organization.

For example, don’t ask employees to “document every process and policy.” Instead, ask them to think about their most critical tasks (or the ones with the most hiccups) and begin there. This way, they start with the low-hanging fruit, experience the benefits, and stay motivated to document.

A man saying, "All your hard work is about to pay off."

Plus, when you use a process documentation platform, it takes less time to plan out processes and policies — and you can save your work for later. “You can go into Trainual, [see] the sales subject, and populate it,” Adi shared. “[Maybe] you continue [the documentation] later, but at least you got started.” All that’s to say: Take it step by step, and don’t overwhelm employees.

5. Assign people as process leaders.

In addition to taking documentation in stride, it also helps to have a process leader. This person commits to a culture of writing things down, goes back to the documentation (when problems pop up), and ensures that knowledge stays updated.

“If there is a problem or issue that needs to be discussed, [leaders] need to use processes and procedures [to figure out what went wrong],” Adi explained. This might be the business owner or managers in smaller businesses — or it could even be front-line employees for bigger teams.

Either way, assigning certain people as document advocates makes it easier to get team buy-in. Because with their advocacy and actions, you spread a culture of prioritizing company knowledge and eventually get an entire team focused on documenting processes.

Just like any sort of change at your organization, it will take meaningful action to get all your employees on board with documentation. But with time, documentation becomes the standard, going back to the process second nature, and updating the company knowledge top of mind.

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5 Simple Ways to Get Your Employees to Document Processes

January 19, 2023

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