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Operations manuals are rarely something that sits at the front of your mind and many businesses don’t realise how crucially important their operations manuals are until the worst happens. So if our operations manuals are so important, how come we are always reluctant to create and update them frequently? In this article, we will be discussing why you need to keep your manuals up to date and how to keep on top of those manuals before they topple you!
The initial focus when creating your operations manuals is likely going to be maintaining compliance with industry and regulatory standards. That's because those standards, if not met, can be the difference between operating your business everyday and being shut down. Ensuring you have these manuals and important policies clearly outlined is the first step to compliance. The second step is systemising. By having your most important policies, procedures and standards in a system specifically designed to host them, you don't only make these manuals easily accessible, you can make them mandatory as well. Mandatory policies with automatic reminders and reporting will give you confidence that all external standards are being followed, meaning you will never have to worry about any regulatory watchdogs breathing down your neck!
Your policies and procedures govern the way every staff member at your business works every single day, and while non-compliance with external regulations may come with harsher penalties, non-compliance with internal standards can easily crush your business. Imagine you decide to change an aspect of your business, such as the uniform your team wears or even more strict policies like anti-theft or security policies, but you do not update your manuals to reflect this change. Anyone who looks at your policies and procedures will not be hearing about the latest changes to these policies and will therefore not be compliant with your standards. This can lead to brand damage, injury, poor customer experiences, etc.
When consumers visit/use a business that has multiple locations, they expect to be getting the same experience. I mean, when you go to a McDonald’s on the other side of the country, you expect you’re going to get the exact same experience and exact same burger as you did back home right? One of the first steps that needs to be taken when aiming for complete consistency across all your locations, is setting out clear standards in your operations manuals. When everything from the systems you use and how you use them, all the way down to the music that needs to be played in-store is standardised across all your locations, you know your business is going to be consistent no matter where it is. This helps you control your brand perception and gives your consumers that consistent experience.
With Op Central, we make operations manuals creation and updating super easy and seamless. Your existing manuals can be migrated into our system or you can quickly and easily create new manuals directly into Op Central. With required reading and verification options, you can always be sure that any changes and updates to your operations manuals are being complied with - and you’ll have the reporting to prove it! Take a look at Work Central for more information, or speak to a product expert today.