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Systems And Documentation For Remote Employee Success

monthly calendar for planning - systems and documentation for remote workers or employees success

There are two big things you can do to ensure success with remote employees.

One is to have a well-defined role for them with clearly defined responsibilities, tasks, and KPIs that their success will be measured by.

The other is to use clearly documented processes and systems. These will help eliminate communication errors and give your new employee direction and a roadmap to meet and exceed your expectations.

Employers’ negative experiences with remote employees typically come from one of four things: 

  • Hiring the wrong person
  • Lack of processes or systems to plug them into
  • Poorly defined responsibilities
  • Inadequate communication from the employer

We will address systems and documentation in this article.

We see it time and time again. The extent to which you have good documentation and well-defined systems is the extent to which you will have a good experience with remote employees.

Have A System And A Plan For Your Remote Employees

You can’t just throw a  body at a problem. You have to train and support them and have a plan to help them succeed

We have seen it time and time again. You will waste time and money and create a negative experience for both you and your new employee If the position isn’t set up before hiring someone. 

Setting up the position includes not only all of the HR and payroll issues but also the systems processes and KPIs your new employee will need to get their work done. 

It doesn’t matter if you are hiring a remote VA or MBA from Africa or an in-office position from your same country.

In our experience, the single most helpful thing you can do is have the position you’re hiring for very systematized with well-defined processes and KPIs in place before you list the position or job. 

The better you can do this the more successful your new employee will be. Especially with an offshore position or team.

Your new employee will not be able to read your mind. You need to be very clear as to what you want done and how you will measure success.

You need to develop the SOPs and processes for what you want to be done and then take the time to train and onboard them on those responsibilities. Be clear about what responsibilities are theirs and which ones aren’t.  

But what if it is a position that I’m not an expert in?

If you want to bring someone onto your team to do something that you don’t have the expertise to do (like you want someone to grow a YouTube channel for you) or you don’t have the time to put together the processes, here is a tip.

TIP – Hire a consultant or expert in that field to create your initial strategy and game plan for the position. Then hire a lower-paid employee to execute that plan. 

Then you just bring the consultant or strategist back as your employee gets to a point where they need more direction or you feel it would be good to check the progress of work done.

Tips For Documenting Your Business Processes

In order to work efficiently with remote employees, well-documented business processes are crucial, whereas poorly documented ones will pose more of a liability than a benefit.

Your organization can benefit from documenting its processes using the following techniques.

Make Them Simple And Easy To Use

Documentation that is lengthy and complex is often thrown at employees with the expectation it will work. The documents contain complicated steps, flowcharts, visual maps, external resources, and screenshots. Complicated documents make employees more inefficient and frustrated. 

A better way to do it is to simply break down a larger complicated process into smaller parts first that are easier to digest. And then take those parts and break them into small, actionable steps that are easy to follow again and again. Then document those steps.

Now you present step-by-step instructions detailing each step needed to complete them in well-written standard operating procedures (SOPs). You will not only make life easier for yourself, but you will also be able to take action with a minimum of effort. ‍‍

Standardize Processes But Make Them Modifiable.

In order to make more money, businesses are always seeking ways to improve efficiency and profitably adapt to changing conditions. 

The way things were done a couple of months ago might not be the way things are done now, as a result of new software processes or changes in departments.  

Documented processes need to be updated so they match current practices.

The majority of companies still use PDFs and other antiquated methods in order to make their documentation available. By using these methods, it becomes much harder for companies to make changes to the documentation, especially when dealing with images and other visual assets.

For example, you can use something like to capture video and its simple screen capture interface.

You can use a documentation tool like Tango. It is very flexible and allows easy custom edits to any part of your process.

Or you can drop a combination of video, written word, and screenshots into google docs, Notion, or google slides. 

Use Visuals (Images and Video) 

Images help the users of your flows visualize what they will need to do step by step. Designing text-heavy SOPs will only overwhelm your coworkers.

That’s one of the reasons I am a huge fan of using a video service like Loom to document and explain things quickly and easily.

In addition, your employees will be able to visualize the process and replicate what they see in the images or follow right along with the video. You can cover a lot more content faster with video too.

Video and images are more effective for learning and recall than reading. So, add screen recordings, screenshots, and other videos and images as much as possible.

Be collaborative 

Iteration is the key to creating great processes. Create the first draft, put it in front of your team and ask them for their feedback. Then create a second draft with the feedback you receive. 

Each time you train a new person, have them go through each process and note and questions or comments they have and then update the document or video to include that feedback. 

It won’t take too many rounds like that before you have a great usable resource. And as you continue to ask for feedback from each new person that goes through it, over time it will continue to get better and better.

When you are creating SOPs, you need to first understand who will be using them and what they will be struggling with the most in order to turn them into effective processes. However, to create effective SOPs, you first need to figure out who will be reading them. Therefore, you need to create documentation that solves their pain points specifically. 

Those Are A Couple of Keys To Ensuring Remote Employees Succeed

A lot of good things will happen as you bring the team together to help in the creation process of these documents. This will enable you to ensure that your documentation meets your specific needs and is serving the growth of the company at the same time.

Give it a go and let us know how it went.

“But what if it is a position that I’m not an expert in?” 

We suggest hiring an expert or consultant in that field for an initial audit and to deliver a game plan and then hire a VA or EVA level worker to execute that plan. Then just bring the consultant back as needed. 

It could be that they come back once a month or once a quarter 2 check on the progress of that person and recalibrate the game plan.

Happy customers won’t refer people to us.. Most likely they won’t. It’s the successful customers that will refer new business to us. We need to focus on our talent and employers being successful, not just happy. Then when people ask them about their success, they will tell them about our roll in that very naturally. What can we do to help our talent and our employers succeed? To help them see results that matter to them?