Every good company needs a working set of standard office procedures if they aspire to bring together a motivated and efficient work team. It is the secret of successful enterprises and should therefore be a prime concern of all those starting a business.
Writing procedures is easiest when the goal you want to move toward is clear in your mind. Build up the steps in such a way that they project to the results you wish to achieve. The most basic tip in creating an excellent office handbook is to have a clear, easy to follow set of rules and guidelines that everyone can adhere to. General office policies are meticulously and professionally engineered to prevent problems from happening in the first place. Here’s what you need to do:
- Brainstorm. People often overlook this stage because it takes a lot of time. Some risk leading a shaky, premature workforce because the plan came out of nowhere. A realistic, well-thought-of plan will prove to bring more productive results at once. So first, gather the major players in the company and get ideas flowing. It is a responsible thing to do to see one situation in several different standpoints. That way all perceived problems from all possible sides will be thoroughly considered and given fitting solutions. Have your goal clear in mind and work together toward that.
- Write the first draft. This rough plan, though preliminary, will serve as the baseline from which to ground your proceeding tests. You want future modifications to be minimal because this one should already be close to perfect.
- First testing. Personnel and inventory procedures need to be tried out in the field. This allows you to study the mechanism in action and be able to pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses in the working plan. Provide each of your workers a copy of the first draft and have them voice their own thoughts as well. Ask them if they experienced any difficulties and if any, how best to deal with them. A healthy working relationship keeps everybody motivated because they feel that they too play an important part in achieving the company’s goals.
- Tap external resources. Hire an expert or consultant as your advisor. It is a good idea to have a non-company member participate in the development and testing process. An outsider’s point of view will be helpful in coming up with new ideas and ways by which to more creatively solve problems and do your revisions.
- Integration. You are now ready to write the final draft. Closely review the given suggestions based on the tests that have been done. See to it that suggestions with the most merit are incorporated in the revised plan. Completed office procedures can be illustrated through various formats depending on their level of complexity. One way is by listing the simplified steps; another is by placing steps in a hierarchical arrangement as with a vertical flowchart, or in graphic form. Keep it short and simple, but make sure that the idea is crystal clear.
- Post and practice. Call a meeting and discuss the established standard office procedures with everyone. Make sure all points are well-explained and understood. Entertain questions. This will increase the probabilities of it being followed religiously.
- Lastly, keep track. As the manager you are required to monitor progress. This is to ensure that the standards are still strictly in order. Look for any deviations from the objectives, review any miscalculations.
The company has to make the cut by maintaining quality and competence amidst growing and changing work demands. Good luck!