I hope you find my writing and business tips and observations useful. My business and blog are dedicated to helping businesses communicate clearly and reach their potential. Read, subscribe to my newsletter, enjoy! Tash

Refer to older posts…

Blogging services


Getting procedures used

Procedure for using a stapleless stapler

Short, practical procedures work

If you have gone to the effort of creating some procedures, you want to have your team make use of them.

Let’s face it, many of us have tried putting together an Ikea unit before reading the instructions – often to use them later. But we don’t want that happening to the procedures we spend time on writing to benefit our businesses.

Here are four tips for encouraging use of your procedures:

  1. when presenting them (for instance, if emailing it out to your team), sell the benefits.
    Would you respond better to ‘procedure you must use’ or ‘record sales data quickly’?
  2. lay out each procedure clearly and neatly
    if it looks easy to read and follow, people are much more likely to use procedures  so use the basics of good procedures such as lists rather than paragraphs, decent size fonts and short instructions (‘hit submit’ not ‘use your mouse to click on the submit button’)
  3. make the procedures easy to find
    if you have a shared computer area (intranet or a shared folder somewhere) or a physical shelf or cupboard, put the procedures there so everyone can always access to most recent version. For specific equipment, keep the procedures nearby – I don’t want to have to visit the main office to use the machinery in the workshop. Then make sure procedures are named clearly so it’s easy to find the relevant procedure when it is needed.
  4. keep procedures up to date
    imagine following a procedure that has an old password or refers to an old version of software (especially a major change so steps have changed) – it’s very frustrating. Let people get frustrated with your procedures and they’re less likely to refer to it again. Most updates are quick but if it is a big change and will take time, note that on the existing procedure so at least people know to expect changes and that a new version is coming.

What makes you use any procedures you find helpful?

Business volunteering

Ever thought about why a business should give to their local community?

There are many ways to give, and it can be a regular thing or just when it suits, but volunteering in some way can help your business:

  1. your business gets increased exposure just through your presence or by acknowledgments in their brochures, website, noticeboard or similar. And it may well cost less than similar exposure through an ad or other marketing campaign
  2. your business earns respect, trust and goodwill from the people involved in that community – and people are likely to try your business first if they appreciate your efforts in something they are passionate about
  3. you get to learn more about your local community, and potential customers, so you can adjust your products, services and marketing to suit
  4. if you allow employees to volunteer in your time, you will also build morale and team spirit – this helps your business in many ways, including attracting and maintaining quality staff
  5. allowing employees to volunteer will teach them more skills that can further help them perform for your business. In particular, staff helping a charity will need to be resourceful when working with tight budgets and limited resources – and being resourceful and using initiative can be great for any business
  6. you can mention your community work, too. If you do pro bona work within your community, it will also give you valuable case studies and testimonials to showcase your abilities – this can be really useful for a new business or a business offering a new service.

Has your business ever been involved in comment projects, either through employee time or other donations? Or maybe your community has been helped by a business in the past?

What advantages have you seen come from businesses contributing to the local community?