8 Ways to Improve Your Business Procedures



Improving policies and procedures can increase operational efficiency and benefit everyone in your organization, from upper management to individual employees. Procedures are often more form than function. Words on a page don’t necessarily make things happen as intended, so it’s important to actively work towards improving your company procedures. Below are eight ways to improve your procedures.

1.  Dedicate time to identifying and examining each step in every current process.

Who completes each procedural step in the process and is that person the appropriate person to complete the task? Should the task be delegated to another staff member or outsourced? How does the current process work and how should it work? Are there steps that are not needed or duplicated?

2.  State the purpose of procedures.

Without a clear understanding of why we place such a high value on procedures, we can easily end up with a random collection of documents that vary in quality and content as much as the differences between the authors who created them.

3.  Revise your procedure documentation.

Do your employees clearly understand the procedure documentation? Are your required actions described thoroughly and accurately, or are the details left open to interpretation? Is your content consistent and complete, or are your writers leaving gaps no one has noticed? Your procedure documentation should provide quality:

  • Context. Actions must properly describe the activity to be performed.
  • Consistency. All references and terms are used the same way every time, and the procedure must ensure consistent results.
  • Completeness. There must be no information, logic, or design gaps.
  • Control. The document and its described actions demonstrate feedback and control.
  • Compliance. All actions are sufficient for their intended compliance.
  • Correctness. The document must be grammatically correct without spelling errors.
  • Clarity. Documents must be easy to read and understandable. 

Show the big picture.

Procedures can be repetitive and mundane. Over time, employees lose interest in repeating tasks because they have already accomplished the task in the past. To keep employees interested, create short and long-term goals from your procedures. Let your employees know they are doing the same procedure repeatedly in pursuit of a larger goal. In other words, communicate how your regular procedures are part of the big picture. Without every step in the process being completed at the best of everyone’s ability the business will not function correctly.

5.  Seek input from the procedure users.

Active engagement by the users is essential. Users know the obstacles and inefficiencies to the existing processes and are eager to remove the pain from their daily lives. The depth of knowledge, experience, and willingness of users to participate shouldn’t be underestimated. They’ll be the first to identify better ways of working that will promote compliance to procedures and efficiency.

6.  Recognize those employees who help to improve procedures.

Over time, your employees will become great at making use of the procedures. They will become so good that you will take it for granted. It’s important to recognize hard work even if it has become easy for the person carrying out the task. Make it part of your procedure to recognize employees. When employees are recognized, they will be even more driven to continue to perform at a high level on daily procedures.

7.  Support Training

Implement ongoing cross-training programs to ensure that all important tasks can be performed by multiple people. It can be much easier to train another person inside your company than to hire someone new.

8.  Continuously review your procedures.

Continuously review your processes and procedures and identify those needing improvement. Select those that need to be corrected now and put those at the top of your list. Continually identifying ways to improve your processes and procedures will allow your company to create efficiencies and build a more successful business.

Contact BDeWees Consulting and we will work with your company to help identify, address issues and/or concerns, then assist with process improvements to achieve positive results and an enhanced quality system.

Jim DePew
Vice President & Consultant
Mobile: (330) 631-9022
Office: (330) 915-2355 Ext: 103
Email: jdepew@bdewees.com