December 20, 2023
Your inbox is gonna be a little emptier next week: The Manual Weekly is taking a break so our team can rest up and recharge their newsletter-writing batteries. But don’t fret — we’ll be back with the first newsletter of 2024 on Wednesday, January 3!
Hot off the SMB press this week:
Let’s talk templates. We’ve been serving them up for the past year and small to medium businesses everywhere have been eating — we repeat — eating them up. And what’s not to love? These fully-baked policies and processes just need a bit of personal touch and then they can be shared with your whole organization — getting everyone on the same page with your best practices and guidelines.
But the burning question remains: What was the most popular template of 2023? Drumroll, please…
👉 The How To Document a Process template! At this point, you’re probably well aware that we live and breathe process documentation here at Trainual. So it’s no surprise that we created the ultimate template that guides your content creators in process documentation step by step — from identifying and defining the process that needs to be documented, to reviewing and assigning your finished process to your team.
And we’d be remiss If we didn’t mention these buzz-worthy templates that secured a place in the top ten:
We hope these weekly templates have helped you transform your documentation and brighten up your training — and we look forward to delivering even more policy and process templates to you next year!
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.
LESS IS BEST
I’ve heard of minimalist decor. What’s a minimalist mindset?
It’s a way of approaching things with simplicity, intentionality, and mindfulness. In other words, it’s an effort to simplify things by focusing on what truly matters (rather than unnecessary clutter and distractions).
The minimalist person lives sustainably, in the present, and without excess commitments or possessions. And it’s not just a nice idea. Studies show that decluttering your mind and adopting a minimalist lifestyle can lead to improved mental and physical health.
So how do I apply this to my work life?
There are several approaches to start living by the “less is more” mantra at work. Here are four strategies that’ll help you adopt a minimalist mindset, saving you time and energy every workday:
1. Make a list of tasks you can let go of.
Part of applying the minimalist mindset to your career lies within the art of delegation. (And completely removing those meetings and tasks that are total time-wasters.) Ask yourself questions, like: If I were to hand off two responsibilities, what would I delegate (and to who)? Does my team have access to the resources they need to take this off my plate? (Hint: If the answer is no, don’t fret. Just document it in Trainual and dust off your hands.)
2. Empower AI.
Ah, AI: The hot topic of 2023. When you use it right, AI can turn a 30-minute task into a 30-second one. Simplifying things like inboxing, policy and process documentation, website automation, customer conversations… okay the list is actually limitless so we’ll stop there. The point is: There’s no shame in the AI game. Let it save you some time so you can focus on the things that actually matter during your workday.
TRAINUAL TIPS & TRICKS
Every year feels like it goes by faster than the last, and 2023 has been no exception (seriously, it feels like Q4 started last week). Which makes us question: How the heck did we get so much done with Trainual this year?
We’re biased, but we think we deserve a little bit of a brag — this year, we’ve not only added new features that make it easier than ever to document your business, but also strengthened OG features that have made Trainual better than ever. From our new Home experience to our introduction of AI tools that write your documentation for you, the platform got some major upgrades this year.
One of our favorite new features: the upgraded AI-powered search. Leveraging advanced AI, the Trainual search function now understands queries contextually, digging through all your company's content to bring up the most relevant answers instantly. Meaning, you ask Trainual a question, and it’ll actually give you an answer (surfaced from your content).
That means less time searching and more time doing for your team. It streamlines workflows by minimizing the effort to locate procedures, policies, and training materials and makes information retrieval a breeze for everyone.
👉 See the full list of Trainual product enhancements. Or, jump into your account and explore these features for yourself! (New to Trainual? Get a demo.)
MAKE A LIST, CHECK IT TWICE
There are 12 days until January 1, 2024.
And only six of those are business days. Which means that there isn’t a whole lot of time to take care of everything you’ve been trying to finish up since November.
But like everything else in growing a business, leaders must focus their time on certain priorities and delegate the rest. And if you’re not entirely sure what you should prioritize for these final days of 2023, here are three things you should take care of to finish the year strong:
Update your business plan.
While you may constantly review and tweak your business plan throughout the year, it’s important that you have a strong and realistic plan in place as you take your business into the new year. That means comparing your business’ performance to years past and setting a budget that can support your operations and any growth plans you may have.
You’ll also want to determine your sales and marketing strategies for the coming year, as well as address any issues that you’ve encountered recently (like supply chain issues or hiring struggles). That way, you’ll be more prepared to produce solutions when problems arise (every business leader knows that there’s always another problem to solve).
Check in with your team.
As December comes to a close, your team should know how much you appreciate the hard work they’ve done over the past year. You want to start off the new year strong, and reinforcing your commitment to your employees will boost their morale and establish trust (in fact, 69% of employees say they’d work harder if their efforts were better appreciated).
You can start by setting year-end (or beginning of the year!) meetings to address your employees’ work-related aspirations, like promotions, and set career paths to help them achieve those goals. And if your budget allows it, gift-giving can improve employee satisfaction and retention — whether it’s a holiday bonus, more time off, or a holiday work dinner, you can give out gifts that fit your company culture best.