Sorry Will Smith, employee training shouldn’t feel like the wild wild west
With inevitable changes in the evolution of a company and turnover on the team, historical knowledge can easily be lost or interpreted differently as it passes from one person to the next. Without clear documentation, even training new employees can become a wild and varied experience from one to the next.
As a company we focus a lot on the end result, both for our clients and our own company. It’s difficult to ensure a consistent outcome without a clear series of actions or steps that need to be taken to achieve a particular result. Thus, the need for process.
We’ve created our fair share of process documentation over the years. And if you’re like us we continually feel the desire or need to improve this as we learn from experience. However, just having process documentation you can point to isn’t enough. We’ve tried workflow diagrams, decision trees, written documentation, template-ized tickets for projects and many other variations.
Establishing the rule of law
Finally after all that tinkering we found something that is very easily understood by our current team, is a great tool for new hire training, is scalable as our business and teams continue to grow and stands the test of time as we improve our process.
We’ve coined these as our “Process One-Sheets,” which are a one page guideline for each of the key milestones in our work with our clients.
How did we create them?
- Evaluated our services/offerings – looking for the largest portion of work we could easily replicate
- Looked for consistency in the work to identify milestones that together capture the entire workflow
- Created an outline for each milestone
- Purpose of a core meeting marking each milestone
- Pre-work/prerequisites that need completed by team members before the meeting/milestone:
- Desired outcome of the meeting
- Templates to accomplish tasks related to each milestone
- Follow up items that need completed by team members
How we rolled them out to the team and how we use them
- Created a one sheets per milestone
- Usage guidelines
- Printed book of one sheets in meeting rooms
- Link in each meeting invite tied to a milestone in the process
- Training for new hires
How they’ve stood the test of time
- Standardized process across all project types for all departments not just one
- Scaled to other project/services to provide consistency and structure between multiple project types
- Easily updatable, because they’re short it’s quick and easy to update
- Easy to implement, again because they’re brief and clear it’s easy for all team members to understand and adhere to the process outlined
A clear path forward
As we continue to gather feedback on our work and process from our team and clients we can quickly and easily adapt our process to make improvements. The structure and format of the one sheets has also made it much easier for us to create a quick and clear set of expectations for tasks that are a little more complex and involve more of our team to provide the clarity and consistency we need to move forward.