How documenting processes can help you scale up
Over the years the idea of documenting processes has often been ignored or considered a lost cause. The documents are often not updated and the traditional format (binder or word document) is not really something your staff want to flip through to review processes. As a result, most clinics simply stop documenting processes and are left with incomplete documentation. Instead, your staff prefer to rely on their memory to pass along this information to their co-workers - with one clinic, this not a big deal, but if you want to scale up relying on memory and incomplete documentation, will lead to many operational hiccups along the way.
Benefits of getting processes onto paper
As we’ve mentioned already, to scale up you have to become as efficient as possible, and your business needs to be running like a fine-tuned machine. You need to have confidence that even when you’re not around, everyone knows what to do - and the only way to ensure this is by making sure that you have detailed documentation so that EVERYONE is on the same page.
With most of our clients, we’ve found that even the process of getting everything onto paper can result in increased efficiency. Why? Because you’re forced to look at all processes with a microscope, in order to have it documented fully. By doing this, many clinics identify inefficiencies in their processes and opportunities for streamlining and automation. So with all of this being said, how does documentation set you up for success:
- Reduces your business risk - You’ll be able to sleep better knowing that all the valuable information regarding your business has been transferred out of your staffs brain and onto paper. This means your office manager leaving abruptly, won’t send your clinic into complete disorder. It also means, that if your employees are referring back to well-documented processes and checklists, that they understand what they’re accountable for, thereby reducing the likelihood of errors. As much as we like to rely on our brains, the truth is that we all make mistakes, especially when we become too comfortable with a process and inadvertently start paying less attention.
- Enjoy improved training and reduced onboarding time - Getting new employees up to speed is important for a growing business. You can’t afford to be spending too much time on onboarding. If your processes are not well documented an employee will have to split their time between training the new hire and their regular duties. By documenting processes and creating a series of checklists for new hires, they can get comfortable with the processes on their own before getting hands-on training. The biggest benefit is knowing that all your employees have access to the same information - for performance evaluations, this makes everything much simpler.
What to use for effective documentation
So we all agree that the outdated binder or word document just doesn’t cut it for documenting processes. To keep the information up to date and useful, growing clinics need something that is specifically built to document processes. We’ve tested quite a few options and we’ve found that the best tools are the ones that walk you through the process and provide you with useful content at the end. You want to use a system for documentation that :
- Encourages you to ask questions about your process (ie. Is it efficient? Is it necessary?)
- Helps you write down your process into small steps that are digestible
- Clearly, states who is responsible for what
- Is easy to navigate and uses multiple formats for better learning outcomes (ie. video, text, images)
Trainual, is an app that provides all of these features. It’s simple and effective at getting your business onto ‘paper’.