Have you ever made a mistake or forgotten a step in a process? I’m sure you have, everybody has. Processes are a great way to make sure everything is done consistently but sometimes processes can become too complex to understand. When this happens, we get confused and a mistake can happen.
Create a checklist for your processes
One way to make things easier is to create checklists for your process. Yes it seems redundant since the process already describes what you are supposed to do but bear with me.
You don’t have to create a checklist for every process. Small processes or important ones might not need the additional assurance a checklist provides.
When you have a process it is typically in the form of a step by step list of actions. Each action should be performed before the next one in the list, so you end up with a liner process from A to Z. This is similar to a checklist but the checklist has one major advantage: it is short.
Keep it short
When creating a checklist for a process you want to keep it as short as possible. This means short both in the number of actions as well as how descriptive each action is. Create the checklist so it’s a summary of the process. If an action needs details or has specific steps to perform it, make a not on your checklist to refer to the process documentation.
How a checklist helps, even an existing process
Once created, there are three reasons to use a checklist:
- To give someone a short list of things they need to do for a process. They can think of this as a table of contents for a larger process.
- To let someone have a way to review the process to check for errors or missed steps. Think about the checklist as a way to quickly double check your work.
- As an introduction to the process. Sometimes it can be helpful to see the entire process from beginning to end before digging into the details.
Example checklist for human resources
Here are a few example checklists for human resources:
- Hiring a new employee (new hire paperwork)
- Posting an ad for a position
- Benefits enrollment
- Complaint handling
- Interviewing candidates. This could include pre-interview scheduling and post-interview reviews too.
- Onboarding and initial employee training