Ever had the thought: “How come they don’t read our Manuals…?”
Well, let’s just say that’s not a very unique question among franchisors and support teams.
Here are four fundamental factors that greatly will increase your ability to get your franchisees and teams to actually read and use the “manual”, and any other information you share for that matter? I also believe it’s time to upgrade the Manual to “Brand Knowledge-Base” because that’s a more accurate description of what it actually is.
1. Information and instructions has to be updated, relevant and in sync with how your business is run today. It’s an ongoing process where agility is crucial. Papers, binders and packed file servers just won’t cut it. It’s a Knowledge-Base.
2. It has to be easily available then and there it’s needed, which today means in the cloud, on mobile devices and highly searchable.
3. The information has to be targeted, meaning the right information/sections are available to people according to their Role/Function/Position.
4. You need to be able to verify that it actually gets read. Not just that it was handed over or “sent”. And take action on non-compliance.
Let me shortly elaborate on this.
1. Has tobe relevant:
You can of course lean on the contractual and legal status of your Ops.Manual – it’s a mandatory document – read it! But what if they do, what would they find? How relevant is the content today, is it useful to them, can they gain any advantages by implementing what’s described and would those findings build confidence to further reference?
Conclusion: If it’s too big of a project and to cumbersome to keep your manuals in sync with business reality, you need to look at smarter ways to manage it in the digital age.
How easy is it for a Franchisee and staff to quickly find reference information in your Ops.Manual when they have a situation to deal with or a team member to answer? What if they are working from home, or you are out-of-office.
Conclusion: If they have quick and easy access, less time will be wasted in asking standard questions which already have standard answers.
3. Targeted access
Your Ops.Manual and other parts of your Brands “knowledge base” should be available to those needing and using it according to their specific tasks and Role. The different Roles and Positions you have are your Target Audience. A Sales clerk or Cashier need different access than the Store manager or the Ware house staff. A “need to know” principle.
Conclusion: There is to much information out there, in too many channels, and your important stuff just get lost – or ignored.
4. Trust – but verify
Famous words from Ronald Reagan back in the days, but it still makes sense. Just because you hand over the Ops.Manual and get a receipt does not mean it will (ever) get read. In a digital platform read-verification and tracking down to page-level, is at your fingertips. With tools like Digital Checklists and Task Manager you can also verify that it’s all implemented in operations.
Conclusion: Advance from Knowing to Doing makes all the difference.
It’s important that your franchisees read and use your Operations Manual, but how do you ensure it gets done? Firstly, the manual needs to be up to date and relevant to how your franchise operates today, this is made easy in Chainformation’s Digital Handbook. Moreover, if you want to be sure that your staff actually reads the manual it needs to be easily accessible on any device. With the Chainformation platform you are able to share any information directly in the cloud while also target the right team based on their Role/Function/Position. Finally, you need to be able to verify that the information has in fact been read by your staff. Luckily, with Chainformation you have access to read-verification and tracking.
Why are Operations Manuals important?
Manuals hold information that you and your staff need in order to run your franchise in the best way possible. However, for the manuals to be of value they need to be updated with relevant information and easily available to the right people. This is all possible with the Chainformation platform.
How do you ensure that your staff reads the Operations Manuals or any other information I share with them?
There’s a higher chance the information will be read if it’s relevant, clear and accessible. Chainformation makes it easy to keep your manual up-to-date, ensuring that your staff has access to the most relevant information needed in their daily work. Thanks to the Chainformation cloud platform everything is also easily searchable and, of course, available on any device.
How do you ensure that the information you share is implemented?
With Chainformation’s verification and tracking tools you are able to see in real time when information is read and tasks are completed.