Out of Date Documentation Makes a Terrible Impression on New Hires

Outdated training frustrates, and eventually alienate New Hires, but it doesn’t welcome.

Have you ever gone to work in a new place where they gave you some training materials right away – except when you tried to follow those directions it turned out they were wrong? 

Out-of-date? 

And the person who confirmed they were out-of-date didn’t seem surprised or concerned about that? 

Just shrugged it off and said you would figure it out? 

Did that experience persist with your second and third tries?  Do you remember how that felt?  It sure didn’t feel like Welcome.

If your business has an actual organized On-Boarding Program the glaring faults of out-of-date documentation compromise the entire Program.  A smart new staffer quickly learns to ignore official documents and learn from staff.  Exactly what the new staffer learns depends on which staffer they can get to teach them.  It is a frustrating experience that soon becomes alienating.  Frequent turnover is often the result.

 

Keeping standard business processes organized and current is the solution.

Documentation of standard work processes can be a reference for existing staff and the foundation of an OnBoarding Program.  There are a couple of key things that support success, including:

  • Someone must be responsible (as part of their job description) for editing documentation of standard business processes when change occurs
  • There must be a well-defined process for editing and feedback
  • Current documentation must be accessible to all staff all the time

The staff member whose responsibilities include keeping business process documentation current must have the rank within the business to be able to effectively manage a feedback and editing loop.  They must be compensated for monitoring, seeking feedback on currency, and editing the business process descriptions.

If these conditions do not exist, the staff member will not be able to prioritize doing the work.  Then Out-of-Date happens.

The feedback and editing process must exist in writing.  It must include procedures for

  • Creating new business process descriptions when new tasks come into being
  • Providing feedback when existing business processes change
  • Editing the database that holds the Onboarding Program, so it is also maintained in current status

If there is no process and no one is paid to monitor currency of documentation, Out-of-Date happens.

Set Up An Accessible Documentation Site

The Business Process Documentation database must be accessible by existing staff as well as new staff 24/7 from any digital devise.  Best Practice is to create a password-protected online site that provides each staff member and individual user identity and log-in.

The work off creating a Business Process Documentation site accessible to every staff member is rewarded when standard business processes change.  Every staff member can be notified electronically of a change and directed to login to learn a new procedure.  Management can standardize change faster and more easily by monitoring logins to be sure everyone has been informed of the desired change.

Have you ever worked in a business where every staffer had their own way of doing things and there was no standard way to do anything?   You know why standardization is valuable.

 

The Reward

investing the time resources and trouble to create a database of current business processes has an effect on both current and new staff members.  Current staff members can reinforce themselves in establish standard business processes any time they have need.  They do not have to disrupt their own work to train the new kid.  New staff have a place to go to learn the correct, up-to-date procedures.  Existing staff welcome their fewer questions. That positive experience makes them feel part of the team right away.  It makes them feel welcome.