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The importance of having procedure documents

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Kristine Daw is the Managing Director of Dawtek, a Melbourne-based company specialising in tenders and proposals, tender training, copywriting, editing and creating business templates. Kristine and her small team have a range of clients including small businesses, multi-national corporations, all levels of government and not-for-profits.

1300 DAWTEK or dawtek.com.au

So many of us have built our businesses from an idea we had many moons ago. In time, that idea and passion continued to grow and expand and hopefully, you’re running a small to large business with a dedicated team of employees.

As business owners burning the candle at both ends, perhaps juggling work and family life, we’ve all hit that stage where essential things have fallen under the radar because something urgent needs your attention. Anyone in business understands that those urgent things will always pop-up – for most of us entrepreneurs, we even feed off this adrenaline boost. But those essential things that need to happen might just continue to go unnoticed. Until you need them… like yesterday!

Given we’ve been in business for over 15 years, we’ve seen our fair share of things in terms of disorganised businesses and business owners. One area that really tends to be neglected, especially in the case of people who are fairly new to business, includes having set Procedures in place and then documenting them so that everyone in the workplace has access to them and completes tasks in the same manner.

Most business owners inevitably intend to scale their business to a point where they no longer have to be involved in the day-to-day, mundane tasks. Trust us, while we understand you may not be jumping for joy at the thought of having to devise various Procedure documents, it is absolutely necessary to do so. Each day, your business’ credibility is on the line and your product or service can only ever be as good as what winds up being delivered to your customers. Procedure documents are vital in ensuring that you and your employees maintain the quality of your product and service at all times.

Forget about spending hours tapping away at a keyboard or handwriting notes for your employees to type up. At Dawktek, we’ve helped numerous clients across all sectors to get their Procedure documents updated and up to scratch thanks to our easy to use and thorough templates. From Contract Management, Internal Audit, Purchasing and Resources Procedure documents, to Record Keeping/Archiving and Customer Requirement templates, you’ll find a list of documents ready to go once you’ve customised them to your business.

Still not entirely convinced you need Procedure documents? Consider these key 3 factors:

Detailed explanation of procedures

Sure, you know how to do everything within your business but if it’s in your head and not on a page where others can access it easily, it needs to be. The first rule in business is to always prepare for the unexpected. An over-reliance on you and your unique knowledge can have devastating consequences should anything unfortunate take you out of action for a little while (we don’t like to think of these things but the reality is we have to in business). Every procedure in your business needs to be clearly laid out – we’re talking about meticulously detailing each and every step involved. Even the smallest or seemingly silliest of steps or tasks need to be included.

Managing expectations from staff

If you never clearly explain or outline how things need to be done in your business, how can you then go ahead and conduct performance reviews or even hold your staff accountable when things aren’t being done to your liking? Having Procedures in place and documented helps you to back-track and determine whether your team is following important processes as required.

Staff training

Ideally, your Procedure documents should be so clear that new staff can pick them up, read them and perform any task at hand with minimal one-on-one training (where appropriate of course). Investing in resources to train staff is one of the most valuable investments any business can make. Right from the get-go, this sees you training staff about the right way to do things and maintains a level of expectation of your team at all times. Of course, having Procedure documents also helps your business to continue moving in the event of staff turnover. Put it this way, in any organisation, there should never be just one person who knows how to do a certain task. We’re not exaggerating here when we say this is a recipe for business disaster in the longer-term.

Know you need Procedure documents? Don’t continue pushing this realisation to the back of your mind. Think of the impact not having these essential documents could have in the longer-term. Click here to view our list of templates that are ready to go. Keep in mind that we’re always updating our lists so be sure to check back on a regular basis.

If you need help, call our friendly team on 1300 DAWTEK (1300 329 835) or reach out to us online. You can also connect with us via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.