Put it in writing!
When I started as an employee at Ruston Daily Leader, I realized a great deal of information on procedures in the department had been shared only verbally. There were no documents or guides people could refer to if they wanted to know how to prepare mail subscriptions or how to update a subscriber’s account. With the amount of turnover the department experienced due in part to most of the labor being part-time and irregular, that could mean information loss. During my time as assistant manager, I started the process of creating electronic and hard copy guides and reference materials. This way no one would be put in the situation of being the only one who knew how to do a task.
a document to build confidence
Near the end of my contract consulting for Ruston Daily Leader on circulation management and web administration, they asked me to write up instructions for them on how to invoice carriers twice each month. These invoices were how carriers got paid, so it was important for circulation management to know how to do this right. There were many steps and a lot of intricacies to that the billing process, and it usually needed to be done within a window of about an hour and a half. If you made a mistake on the invoices and didn’t know until after it was submitted to bookkeeping or you it took too much time to find the solution, it could cause carrier’s contractor checks to be delayed. No circulation manager wants that burden. With my experience in that department and the Newscycle CirculationPro software, I thought it would be helpful to develop a full written technical guide for them including images showing the screens they would see in the software as they completed steps. This would make it easier for them to be confident they were going through the process correctly, and to find answers quickly if they were unsure or needed to fix a mistake. I’m pleased to say the circulation manager told me she found it very helpful!
The link below is a .pdf file of the guide: