How To Build A Culture Of Knowledge Sharing Through Documentation
When a new employee first starts in a role at your company, how do you teach them to do their job effectively? Often, recruits are expected to learn by watching a colleague, however, this type of training can result in inefficient practices getting passed between employees, causing issues down the line.
Instead, it’s crucial that you document information in a way that’s both easy to understand and fully accessible. After all, keeping information hidden away in the minds of your best employees presents a huge risk for your business – what if they leave, taking all of their knowledge with them?
A company culture where information is freely shared helps employees be more productive and happier in their roles. It’s easier to get work done when you can easily find the information required to do so.
Thorough documentation ensures that business processes are repeatable, scalable, and can be improved over time. Having these processes in writing enables everyone in the organisation to be clear on the guidelines for how to complete their work and be aware of what is expected of them.
What Is Knowledge Sharing?
Knowledge sharing is the act of exchanging information, whether that’s between individuals, teams, or even organisations. The idea behind it is to create transparency around business processes so that information is not guarded by people or departments. This way, knowledge gets shared around, enabling everyone to have a better understanding of business practices.
Information can be shared in a number of ways. A presentation to your team, mentoring, and even regular team meetings are all examples of knowledge sharing.
While these are all excellent ways of distributing your expertise, this article will focus on documenting business processes. Why? There are a few reasons; written information is widely shareable, people don’t need to remember it as they can access it anytime, and it is less easily misinterpreted than verbal explanations.
6 Tips For Documenting Business Processes
The documentation of business processes is an excellent first step to increasing knowledge sharing in your organisation. Follow the tips below to effectively explain your processes in a way that anyone can understand and follow.
1. Identify Key Processes
The first step is to identify the key processes that need to be documented. This could be anything from sales calls, the customer journey, or financial operations. It is essential to prioritise the processes that impact the business the most and affect the largest number of people.
2. Map Out The Processes
Once you have identified the relevant processes, you need to map them out. This involves breaking down each task into smaller steps and identifying the inputs, outputs, and the individuals responsible for each step. This can be done using flowcharts, diagrams, or other visual aids.
3. Write Instructions
The instructions for each step should be clear and concise so that anyone in the organisation can understand and follow them. Use simple language and avoid jargon to ensure that the instructions are easy to follow and implement.
4. Include Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Key performance indicators are the yardstick by which you can measure whether something is effective or not. That’s why it’s helpful to include them in process documentation. Examples of KPIs include the number of leads generated, the time taken to complete a task, or the customer satisfaction rate.
5. Update The Documentation Regularly
Processes are not static; they evolve over time as your business grows and changes. Therefore, it is essential to update any documentation regularly to ensure that it reflects the current state of the process. This could be due to new technology, regulations, or business requirements.
6. Make The Documentation Accessible
All documentation must be stored in a centralised location. In the case of training, a learning management system will enable you to give access to the right people and track their progress. When uploading the documentation, keep it organised so it’s easy for people to find what they are looking for.
Will your business safeguard information or choose to share it? Documenting your business processes is important for achieving operational efficiency, scalability, and consistency. It can help your business grow and remain resilient even when staff leave. It helps to ensure that everyone in the organisation is working towards the same goals and following the same guidelines. By following the tips outlined above, you will create clear documentation that sets your business up for long-term success.
If the only thing stopping you from documenting your business policies is a lack of time, why not outsource? The team at Follow My Lead are experts in process documentation and training. Get in touch today, and we can chat about how to transform your employees’ knowledge into documentation that can benefit your organisation as a whole for years to come.