Your business’s processes and procedures manual is a crucial document to have in place. Regardless of whether you’re looking to sell your business or help it grow, this manual will prove to be a valuable asset to your requirements.
This was covered in the second blog in our processes & procedures Series, when we looked at Why Your Business Needs A Procedures Manual. But your manual will only work effectively for your business, if you’re continually improving its contents and reviewing it regularly. It needs to be a living document, one that’s a continual work in process – here’s why that’s so important.
When to review your business processes manual
Let’s start by looking at how often you need to review it. The quick answer is regularly! You need to have a plan in place to ensure it’s regularly updated, reviewed and revised as needed. This includes knowing who’s responsible for both making the changes and carrying out those reviews.
As standard, the general guidelines for a suitable reviewal period are every one to three years – but we’d recommend reviewing it annually. After all, a lot can change in a year. Staff members can leave, promotions will happen, and contact information for both the owner of each process and the manual’s upkeep, may change during a 12 month period. Regardless of what review period you decide upon, if a policy is failing or being misused, then you need to address it sooner, rather than waiting for your next review date.
Processes and procedures manual improvements are essential
Not only that, those improvements are inevitable. This is why you need a regular review plan in place. Not only are you checking for out-of-date processes and procedures, you’re implementing new ones and taking into account changes in process and/or equipment. This in turn, will ensure you business is always running efficiently – which is great for your bottom line and for general staff morale.
Legal and Governmental policy changes are inevitable
You may not have a say over Governmental and legal policies, but you can guarantee they’re going to affect how you run your business, in one guise or another! Whether it’s scenarios such as Brexit or GDPR, these situations inevitably mean policies within your manual will need to be altered and amended, to stay the right side of the law.
Add in additional processes and procedures
As your business grows, there’s going to be additional processes and procedures that are introduced to your working day. As well as these, there’s going to be ones that weren’t included in the original draft of your processes and procedures manual. You therefore need to be adding these additional processes and procedures as you become aware of them and they become live. If you need a refresher on what processes and procedures to include, refer back to the first blog in the series: What Processes and Procedures Are In Your Business?
Enhance its value
During the third blog in the series, How To Create A Simple Processes and Procedures Manual, we looked at some add-ons you could include. Standard add-ons include things like screen grabs, how-to videos and flow charts.
But there are other add-ons you can include that will enhance the overall value of your processes and procedures manual. These include customer reviews and journey scripts, overall guidance on company culture and your company’s bonus and/or reward schemes – for both staff and customers.
Make it flexible and searchable
Finally, make sure your processes and procedures manual is flexible and searchable. Recreate it as a searchable PDF document, so employees can easily find details of what they’re after. Offer alternative solutions wherever possible. These alternatives could cater for the different levels of staff proficiency, as well as access to different levels and types of equipment and software.
Your processes and procedures manual may be a constant work in progress, but it’s also a document that works hard for you. If you want to learn more about how this document works hard for your business, check out this recent blog post: How your processes and procedures manual works hard for you
Your processes and procedures manual may be a constantly evolving document, but it’s one that’s also essential for your business. If you’d like some help getting your business processes and procedures manual created, Virtual Hand can help! Whether you’re looking for a template to follow yourself, want a little help documenting the information you already have, or want to hand it over to someone else to compile and create from scratch – you’ll want to check out your options here!