Why Documenting Company Practice Is Important & How To Do It
Our customers often ask us to help them understand why something they expected to happen didn’t happen exactly how they wanted it to happen. Typically the business owner or manager (we’ll call these folks leaders) come from a position of having done the work themselves at one point and then wanting to transition the practice to new staff. Initially, leaders keep a close eye on new employees as part of the natural process of establishing mutual confidence: leadership gains confidence in employees' understanding of process and ability to perform as expected, and employees gain confidence and trust in leadership. As time passes, confidence builds and new employees join the company and… things happen. What started as processes built on (and defined by) beliefs began to gradually shift as leadership engaged employees in continuous improvement. While the intention of this shift was to simplify processes, make things easier for employees, and eliminate wasteful practices, what often happens is subtle slips in understanding of purpose often creep in, creating a misalignment, or disconnect, between intention and outcome. To prevent these slips and misalignments, it is imperative that all business practices be documented. You must write them down. Having clear business practices, in addition to a commitment to creating a work environment conducive to the company’s primary mission (see related posts regarding Creating the Culture you believe in), is paramount to company success. Yep, we repeat: WRITE THEM DOWN. Sounds simple, right? Well, in most cases, writing a company practice can be simple, especially if there is step-by-step instruction on how to do just that. That step-by-step is coming next in this series, but before we get there, let’s understand some core essentials about writing company practices and procedures. Check out our next post in this series to understand just that.