SelectOne Blog

4 Ways to Make Your Internal Documents More Like Your External Documents

We’ve all been there: carefully crafting a report for a client, checking over each detail and making sure it is presented flawlessly. We cross every “t” and dot every “i” because we know that not only is it a reflection of the work we’ve done, it is a reflection of how our company is perceived.

We put a lot of time and effort into our client-facing documents, but are we as meticulous with the forms we show internally? We may not realize it but the appearance of internal reports makes an impact on those who read them and are expected to follow the rules they contain. Making these internal pieces more like your external documents isn’t hard.

Here are four simple ways that will make your employees happy you took the time to carefully craft your internal documents.

1. Plan ahead

As with any client strategy, you want to lay out the plans for each document. Take the time to write everything out, take notes and discuss with other decision-makers in your company. Rushing to get something out there just for the sake of producing it will lower the quality of the document itself. Set a realistic deadline for completing each internal document, and allow time for review and revision before unveiling to your team.

2. Involve your team

Much like your client relationship is collaborative because the work you do affects them, this process should also be a collaboration because such documents will affect your employees. Before fully implementing a process that will change, discuss the most drastic elements with employees and allow them to provide their input and feedback. You never know—they could have some great ideas and they will also feel valued because you let them be a part of the development of your company.

3. Be direct

Don’t assume people will know what you are talking about in an internal document just because they are familiar with your company. Just as with a client document, break everything down step by step and include details to avoid confusion or loopholes. Articulate what is required and what consequences apply if there is a lack of compliance. To prevent your documents from focusing only on the negative, be sure to include incentives and other benefits in your language, particularly in your employee handbook.

4. Update, Update, Update

Keep in mind that as your company ebbs and flows, changes will be necessary. Your employee documents, whether they are handbooks, training documents, contracts or other forms, will need to stay current, some required by law. Make sure you review them on a regular basis and set aside a time frame to conduct a thorough review (for example, every six months to a year). This will help keep your company in check and account for updates.

Creating effective, clean internal documents will help reinforce to your staff why they should be proud to work at your company. And while they lay out the company rules and standards, they also should reflect your employees’ standards for producing quality work and enhancing a strong team environment. For more ways to determine your company’s identity to attract the right candidates, download our guide, Defining Your Small Business Brand to Attract Like-Minded Talent.


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