3 min read

Trouble training staff quickly? Process documentation can help


How much information is too much? We aren’t referring to your uncle’s latest update on his sciatica. The amount of information even a small firm can generate in a year — or even a month — can be staggering. This is information you can already imagine: names, phone numbers, physical and email addresses, customer preferences and so on.

But one kind of information goes unnoticed and undocumented by far too many firms, big and small: the whys and hows of their internal processes. As pedestrian as that might sound, it’s a serious consideration. This wealth of knowledge is crucial for meeting customer requirements and ensuring smooth operations. With The Great Resignation still sending ripples across the globe, the possibility of an employee leaving you remains a logistical threat. Without proper documentation, this valuable information can be lost when employees leave your firm, leading to knowledge gaps and a decline in productivity. 



Process documentation

To effectively document processes, it’s essential to establish an Internal Knowledge Base (IKB) within the firm. An IKB serves as a centralized repository for storing and organizing information, ensuring easy access for employees. The benefits of an IKB are many, but chief among them are: saving employee time in locating necessary information (documents, vendor or customer info, etc.); knowledge retention that survives employee departures; and greatly improved onboarding and training.

When choosing a knowledge base repository, various options such as Google Drive, OneDrive, internal company drives, or dedicated freemium tools like Notion are available. Each option has its own advantages, but the key is to select a platform that aligns with the firm’s needs and provides a user-friendly interface.

Once the repository is in place, the next step is to make sure key personnel are trained on its use and, once implemented, dutiful in maintaining and updating the information therein.


Then it’s time to document all your important processes. This involves recording step-by-step instructions, workflows, and guidelines for various tasks and procedures. By capturing this information, firms can ensure that employees have access to comprehensive knowledge and can quickly onboard new team members without significant training delays.

In addition to documenting processes, establishing a definitions database is beneficial. This database serves as a reference point for employees, providing clarity on specific terms, acronyms, or jargon used within the organization. By maintaining a consistent and shared understanding of terminology, communication gaps are minimized, fostering better collaboration and productivity.

To track and manage changes effectively, you’ll want to start a Change Log. This log documents major updates or modifications to systems, tools, or processes, along with the corresponding dates. By keeping a record of these changes, your firm can maintain transparency and ensure that employees are aware of any updates that may impact their work.


Best Practices

When it comes to documenting processes, encourage employees to record their tasks in real-time. By documenting each step as they perform a task, employees capture the most accurate and up-to-date information. This real-time approach reduces the chances of omitting crucial details and promotes a culture of continuous improvement.

Furthermore, process documentation should be lightweight and focused on providing the necessary information. It’s important to strike a balance between providing enough detail for understanding while avoiding unnecessary complexity. The goal is to create a document that is easily digestible and accessible to all employees, regardless of their level of expertise. Additionally, documents should strive to avoid the internal jargon we mentioned earlier — this will ease onboarding in particular, relieving new hires from having to reference your definitions database while also learning the processes themselves. One thing at a time!



Standards in Process Documentation

Process documentation standards define the procedures and software tools used for document development. These standards outline the process used to produce documents, ensuring consistency and quality throughout the organization. By establishing clear standards, firms can streamline their documentation process, resulting in efficient knowledge transfer and improved productivity.


How it’s done at Genwise

At Genwise, our approach to process documentation revolves around equipping teams with the knowledge they need to perform their jobs effectively. We understand that documenting processes goes beyond creating a manual; it involves providing insights into job responsibilities and priorities.

By capturing not only the "how" but also the "why" behind each process, we empower our teams to make informed decisions and adapt to changing circumstances. Our documentation process focuses on fostering a deep understanding of the organization's goals and values, enabling employees to align their efforts and contribute to the firm’s success.

Process documentation plays a vital role in maximizing efficiency, ensuring knowledge retention, and facilitating smooth operations within organizations. By implementing a robust documentation process, companies can minimize the impact of employee turnover, accelerate onboarding, and foster a culture of continuous learning. With the right tools and best practices in place, organizations can harness the power of process documentation to enhance productivity, collaboration, and overall success.



For a free swimlane template that can help you design your process documentation, visit this link. Don’t try to swim against the current, go with it. Best of luck out there!


Learn more about genwise