If asked to write down what each person under your management does each day or, let’s say, what they’re supposed to be doing… Could you, do it? Do you have a daily routine checklist for every key employee?
You think so? Okay, could you write down HOW each of those people does what they do, and how they interact with the tools you have provided them?
When I first tried to do that, shocked is how I would describe how hard it really was. I would have said I knew the workings of our business inside-out. But, detailing what each employee does step-by-step was more difficult than I ever imagined. We have worked with countless business owners who after having detailed daily routine checklist, often can’t believe they lived without them.
Daily Routine Checklist Really Work – A Challenge
It’s been over fifteen years since I challenged myself to create systems for my business; and it’s no surprise to me now when I see other business owners and managers, from a variety of industries, spending long tedious hours documenting the daily routine of just ONE key employee. However, we now have step-by-step daily routine checklist templates to save clients hundreds of hours.
I challenge you to try it!
Select any one of your key employees to start with. Ask the employee to help you by writing down what they do on a normal day, from the time they walk in each morning, until leaving in the afternoon. Again, surprised you will be, at WHAT they SAY they do.
Stay with me…there’s good reason for this exercise. In fact, gathering such information is a key FIRST step to dramatically reducing all forms of waste in your company!
Recently, an owner of a small manufacturing company, who had accepted the challenge, told me it took him and a group of employees all day to document the daily routine for just one department manager. To say the least, time involved stunned the owner.
Daily Routine Checklist versus a Job Description
You may be thinking, “What’s the big deal? I can get JOB DESCRIPTIONS of our key positions from our industry association, or just download it online!”
Let me ask you, have you really STUDIED most Job Descriptions; even ones produced by professional consulting firms? They’re vague at best!
A Job Description is an abbreviated list of tasks that rarely gives the detail as to HOW, WHEN, WHERE, or WHAT tools to use in actually performing the tasks.
A typical Job Description for, i.e., an Office Manager might say something like the following: “Maintains office services by organizing office operations and procedures; preparing payroll; controlling correspondence; designing filing systems; reviewing and approving supply requisitions; assigning and monitoring clerical functions, etc.”
Okay, but how are THOSE functions actually performed? What is the detailed process for each of those assignments?
See what I’m getting at?
The Devil is in the Details – In Daily Routine Checklist
There should be standardized processes for every area of operations, not just vague assignments that leaves new employees to figure out on their own a procedure that may or may not fit with the organization. Therefore, give new employees established procedures for performing important tasks in operations. As a result, it empowers new hires to hit the ground running.
Each employee needs a Daily Routine Checklist (DRC) of assignments, complete with references to specific procedures for performing those assignments. Since that’s true, what would that DRC look like?
In most businesses, the first thing an employee does each morning, is to clock-in using time-tracking software, or manual time sheet, or just report to a supervisor with a “Hello.” Therefore, the FIRST item on the employee’s daily routine checklist might be: ___ Clocked-in on arrival
Let’s keep going! What might be the next items on the checklist? Maybe:
___ Computer turned on
___ Checked to see all data properly backed up
___ Emails checked and time-sensitive emails handled
___ Coffee made for staff
___ Copy machine turned on and paper trays loaded
___ Walk-through of production area
___ Prepared agenda for sale meeting
___ Etc. etc. etc.
Starting to get the picture?
The All Important Prompt – A Call to Action
Now, consider each of the tasks above as a PROMPT or a call to action. Now ask yourself, how should an employee carry-out or complete each prompt? As you can see, these are the devilish details.
Example, let’s take the task/prompt above—Do a walk-thru of the production area. What does that mean? Why are they doing a walk-through? What are they looking for? To whom will they report the results of the walk-thru?
There are a lot of WHY’s to think about, not to mention Who, What or When!
An important thing to consider, as an owner or manager—when documenting a prompt/task such as “walk-through”—you need to visualize doing the task yourself. Moreover, how YOU would do it step-by-step. In short, I’ve performed a task step-by-step, and as I went along, writing the procedure. To take it a step further, after finishing, I had someone else perform the task who knew very little about it, while I observed. As a result, they performed the task flawlessly, that’s when you KNOW you’ve got something!
A More Clear Picture of How the Business Operates
Are you beginning to see why, in some cases, it can take up to forty hours to document in writing a “daily routine,” detailing what a key employee does? Knowing that, our templates are starting to look good!
To emphasize, add the time it would take to write procedures, policies, preventive maintenance checklists, quality control checklists, etc., for many of the prompts/tasks on an employee’s daily routine. Obviously, it would take a considerable amount of time to complete. However, image the effectiveness, that daily routine checklist would have on a business. In addition, think about that daily routine as a training tool.
In summary, no matter the type business, or even if they have job shop management software, or field service management software, they ALL still need to implement a Daily Routine Checklist System in their business. Having said that, we provide job shops and service businesses, systems that are life-changing.
Below are just a FEW reasons WHY you should take the time to document in detail, an employee’s daily tasks/assignments, and HOW that employee performs their daily routine:
1. It helps owners, see how their business operates clearly
2. It brings job clarity to your employees
3. It identifies redundancy of certain tasks by employees
4. It drastically reduces mistakes, and hearing “I forgot!” when tasks left uncompleted
5. It’s a great training/orientation tool for new employees
Did I mention? Great systems work!