How to improve your processes (template included!)

December 6, 2023

"First day on the job at a business that doesn't document its processes."

Hot off the SMB press this week: 

  • A template for improving your documented processes.
  • How continuous improvement can accelerate your success.
  • Take care of these payroll tasks before the end of the year.


Template of the week: How To Improve a Process

How To Improve a Process template

As a business leader, a steadfast dedication to continuous improvement runs in your veins. Every process enhancement is a strategic maneuver to elevate quality, efficiency, and overall excellence. But, we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: In order to get your team on board with the new processes you implement, you have to have the right system in place. (Otherwise, you’re taking the time to optimize your processes for nothing!)

First, you need to have a centralized place to document the pivots you make and share them with your employees — that way, everyone can stay up to speed with all the changes. After you’ve established your one-stop shop for business processes (like, ahem, Trainual), you need repeatable instructions that your team can follow to actually improve business processes. After all, you don’t want your team to run off trying to tweak processes that don’t need fixing or forgetting to measure the impact of changes.

👉 And of course, we have just the resource for you! Steal our How To Improve a Process Template and make it your own! It comes with core process improvement principles to follow, plus a step-by-step guide to improving processes. Just make any edits that are important to your business and share it with your team.

Want more templates to help you build your business playbook? Check out our entire template archive of free, multimedia-enhanced, and customizable policy, process, and role starters. New to Trainual? Get a demo.


Here’s how to get 1% better every day using the Japanese kaizen practice

Can you imagine? Me? A one percenter?

Wait… isn’t kaizen for manufacturers?
Some are familiar with Toyota’s slow and subtle transformation from a textile company to an auto manufacturer using the kaizen practice. Rather than a sudden rebranding, the business made daily modifications until they achieved a total sector swap.

What’s cool is the kaizen approach can be applied well beyond the factory floor, as it stands for "good change." The philosophy is simple: Break change into small, manageable steps and celebrate each milestone.

Interested in incorporating it in your business or personal growth? Here’s how to get started:

Step 1: Pursue 1% improvement.
Identify one specific area in your business (or personal life) that you’d like to improve. And ask yourself: “What would achieving just 1% progress in this area look like?” Be sure to think super small. Like putting on your running shoes or running a quarter of a mile (literally 1% of a marathon).

Step 2: Build on the 1% gains.
Once you've mastered the initial 1%, plan your next incremental improvement. And remember: Consistency is key. Whether it's daily or weekly, maintain forward momentum! You’ll set yourself up for success by setting realistic milestones — so hold yourself back from cheating the system and going for the gold on day four.

Step 3: Focus on daily progress.
The key is to avoid getting fixated on distant goals. Instead, concentrate on the task at hand or the next small step. The beauty of kaizen is that it’s a continuous process without a final destination. All you have to do is #TrustTheProcess so that one day you can take a look back at the incredible change you made.

👉 Read more on the kaizen practice for continuous improvement.


The end-of-year payroll tasks to take care of before 2024

"There are so many things to do."

It’s the most wonderful busiest time of the year.
Between the holidays, people calling in sick, and the general chaos of December, the end of the year is a pretty busy time for many business leaders. Add in the payroll tasks that you have to finish before January 1, 2024, and sometimes it seems like your to-do list never ends.

But, if you can cross those payroll tasks off now, that leaves you more time to focus on everything else keeping you busy this month. And maybe if you’re lucky, you may just have a little bit of free time to yourself (hey, one can dream, right?).

Here’s a list of the payroll responsibilities you need to take care of before the end of the year:

1. Verify your employee information.
Who wants to have to deal with fixing incorrect or outdated information on W-2s? Better to get the right information now and save yourself a headache later. Be sure to verify the following:

  • Employee’s legal name.
  • Social Security number.
  • Current address.

2. Run the final payroll.
Your end-of-year payroll may look a little different than usual. Do you have to pay out any holiday or end-of-year bonuses? Does your company pay employees for their unused time off? Plan out your final payroll of 2023 now to avoid scrambling later. 

Also, if you pay your employees by direct deposit, remember that two holidays (December 25 and January 1) can impact when your employees receive their paychecks. Run your payroll one business day early to make sure your team gets paid on time.

👉 Find the full payroll checklist here.

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