What Are Work Instruction Templates?
A work instruction template is an outline or a document that provides clear, step-by-step instructions for employees. Its aim is to guide the employees and managers in completing a specific task in a systematic way to ensure its proper execution. This outline provides all the information an employee needs to complete the task, including:
- The official title of the job, including job order no.
- The person(s) responsible to do the job
- Objectives of the task
- Step-by-step instructions for the task
- Toolset and skills required
- Data and time of delivery
- The expected outcome or targeted purpose
- Scope of the task
- Supervisory manager to handle the direction
- Access credentials to important platforms, such as pass keys and verification codes
Harvard Business Review suggests that these work instruction samples are also particularly helpful in streamlining communication for situations where multiple people are performing the same task and need clear instructions on how to do it correctly.
An example of when work instruction templates come in handy on the job is when you have several sales representatives who need to follow a specific procedure when making deliveries. Creating a work instruction template can make sure that each one knows exactly what they need to do in order for everything to run smoothly.
Work instruction templates can also be executed across almost all domains. They are, however, generally used by companies in the manufacturing, retail, hospitality, and restaurant business. These are the areas where managers often want to create consistency, transparency, efficiency, and standardization among their employees who perform certain tasks repeatedly.
Even as far back as 2,000 years ago, work instruction manuals or user guides such as the Antikythera Mechanism were already used to implement rules and procedures for a workforce. Since then, the evolution of work instruction checklists has led to a series of drastic changes to achieve higher efficiency in any organization.
Thanks to Frederick Winslow Taylor, known as the “Father of Scientific Management”, today’s software solutions are even more powerful. They can, among many things, give managers the ability to streamline their workflow and make sure that everyone is on the same page about what needs to be done during each task to complete it faster and properly.
In this article, you will learn about:
What Is the Purpose of a Work Instruction Template?
The purpose of work instruction templates is to first make sure that the tasks assigned to your team or subordinates will be completed correctly and consistently. The use of these work instruction samples also allow you to:
- Give clear and precise instructions, to help new employees better adapt to the job quickly and instructions are followed correctly by anyone with minimal training
- Increase your company’s overall performance and Return on Investment (ROI)
- Be able to make adjustments quickly if there is any confusion about what needs to be done.
- Have multiple people complete the same task, so managers can ensure consistency between them by clearly defining each step of the process and inputting any additional steps needed for the specific business or industry.
- Make it easier for employees who have been on the job for a while to remember what they need to do each day
- Ensure that everyone is doing things the same way, which makes it easier for people to work together and share tasks
Why Is Work Instruction Template Important?
The use of work instruction samples is important because it’s the best way to ensure that the purpose, scope, and pre-requisites of all your tasks are indicated in one shared document for the workforce to refer back to any time. Here are more major reasons why the use of work instruction samples is crucial
- A template makes sure that the trainees can learn the tasks fast and will immediately learn to comply with national standards, industry regulations, and policies. Non-compliance caused usually by new hires can cause costly mistakes for the company.
- Templates will make sure everyone from low-level to top management is in sync with how to correctly execute tasks.
- The use of the template will make sure that specific tasks described are done with fewer or zero errors and with more clarity so that the staff from interns, IT, HR, to the property custody department have better execution scores.
- Providing an internal knowledge database for examples of work instruction templates for your staff is a good investment. As a result, employees don’t need to always seek explanations about the tasks that are repeatedly done.
- This improves their performance rate for them to increase the number of people they can serve, resulting in a benevolent work attitude of the workforce and better customer service.
Who Can Use Work Instruction Templates?
Here are just some of the major industries that can best benefit from work instruction templates that are properly delivered:
- Production Work
- Media Production
- ISO 9001 Sectors
- Hospitality Management
- Assembly Work
- Web Development and IT
How Can I Benefit From Work Instruction Templates?
Work instructions benefit you either as an employee or a manager mainly in:
- Enabling you to keep refining your work processes.
- Streamlining your overall performance across time.
- Reducing human errors from your subordinates or superiors.
Here are other benefits of work instructions to managers and employees:
- You can improve your team’s overall peak performance ratings as you incur fewer mistakes in executing tasks because standards, operation policies, and regulations are already detailed in the checklist.
- You can lower your overhead costs by mitigating risks and lessening accidents because you can be sure that the instructions you execute are released only after multiple refinements to establish maximum safety.
- You can scale your department, services, or business quicker because the assessment you process across your team is maintained at peak accuracy.
- You can find gaps in your staff’s executions to improve, correct, or replace in order to alter the shiftless performance of employees over time, helping them reach closer to the highest potential every after error.
- You save time in the long run as you eliminate from your work sequences those areas that are just causing abortive backlogs in your operations
- You bolster your employees’ problem-solving skills with each mistake as they find better ways of doing things with every single correction from the work instructions they encounter.
How Do I Write a Work Instruction Template?
Writing tasks using examples of work instruction templates can be very demanding, overwhelming, and time-consuming if your template is problematic. That’s why the importance of picking the right template can’t be overstated.
To make the template form-fitted to your tasks, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make your work instruction template effective.
1. Establish context
When dealing with different sectors of the workforce, there’s always the risk of confusion when sharing step-by-step instructions. This can be solved by making sure that the examples of your work instruction templates have the right context.
To do this, you first need to identify the name of the tasks, and the names of those who will do them. Make sure you label the tasks according to who’s responsible. This way, you can achieve better accountability in deciding who, when and what should be done.
2. Phrase clearly
It’s important to phrase the instructions so they can be easy to read for others within your organization. Use your own writing style that is clear, concise, and friendly, but also remember to be clear about what you are telling people to do and what you are asking them to do.
This makes it easier to be understood and less likely for people to misunderstand the core objectives. It also makes you look more professional – your team or managers always want to read clearly written, easy-to-understand instructions.
3. Define the objective of your work instructions
Structure the content of work instructions depending on the job and make sure you enumerate the steps to be done for each task, as clearly as possible. In this step, you must include important elements and details, including workshop materials and references to make them understand the tasks better.
Add images, infographics, bullet points, or visual materials to give them a better idea of the direction your instruction is taking. This promotes better retention.
4. Provide your team with a powerful app or software
Using an app to pair with the templates will get your team to finish the work fast and correctly without the need for long hours of training. Just make sure you find one that’s user-friendly, intuitive, and has stellar features that can integrate with your systems in multiple languages and deliver better results.
5. Proofread the text
Double-check mistakes and enhance the readability of the instructions. Remove jargon, and trim down convoluted sentences by using fragments, making sure that your work instruction templates are industry-specific.
6. Field test the instructions
This step would be the most important one because it lets a colleague or an employee run the sequence in the instructions and record the results. This will be the best way to detect gaps, check for errors, and clarify confusion in the sequential so you can reword them and ensure better execution when executed in the production.
7. Save and deploy
After the work instructions have been completely perfected, save and send to the workforce so they can store a copy and read a reference when they need reminders of forgotten steps.
What Are the Best Tips for Maximizing Work Instruction Templates?
You can maximize the use of a work instruction template by always being as unerring, detailed, and clear as you can in writing it. You should also not overwhelm the text with unavailing information that creates confusion.
Here are more tips for making sure your template hits that direction:
1. Make sure your template is field-tested to be effective.
Theory is almost universally different from practice, so it’s best to execute a trial run for the sequential tasks in your instructions first. This is the only way to know whether the way you organized the tasks or written them for the employees is clear. This way, you’ll reach optimal levels of the team’s performance, knowing that the template has done everything it can to deliver the message right.
2. Make sure your templates can save time.
It makes no sense for human resources managers to use atemplate if it ends up compromising your bottom line. You can help your team be more effective and get more done when you have a report on key metrics and get real-time visibility into their work. As this happens with dashboards and data in your template, you can then confirm and compute the amount of time saved, finding out how the template is able to improve your sales.
Don’t forget to include the numbers of each user’s time limit. That way, you can average the exact time it will take for the task to be done and improve on them. If someone takes longer than expected on any given step, then you’ll know right away and be able to adjust accordingly.
3. Don’t assume the new hires immediately know your company’s work terms.
Work instruction samples are meant to clarify tasks for new hires. This means that most of the staff who will use the templates may be still in a bind on how to do the tasks in your work. Assuming that they already know the jargon can make your templates ineffective.
Effortless, Industry-Specific Work Instruction Templates That Work
It’s safe to conclude that delivering consistent results that meet your company’s bottom line is the number one reason why every organization needs work instruction templates. This is because these templates are the best way to help the workforce reach 100% compliance with industry standards and reduce costly human errors that derail the trajectory of a company’s conversion targets.
Lumiform understands the importance of these variables so much, that it has designed a mobile app and desktop software to address these pressing pain points. This is also the reason why Lumiform designed its work instruction templates to be intuitive, easily scalable, and effective, increasing the bottom line with surprisingly simple, but remarkably powerful practical solutions.
In fact, with Lumiform, you get work instruction templates that will guarantee to:
- Give your company a commercial advantage over the competition by crafting accurate, detailed work checklists that boost conversions and overall performance.
- Resolve problems quicker using Lumiform’s unrelentingly foolproof templates, especially when ad hoc solutions are needed to solve unforeseen problems that immediately arise out of nowhere.
- Clarify step-by-step processes using Lumiform’s proprietary “if-then logics” so employees can execute tasks correctly without supervision, scaling the business 4X faster and reach master production schedules ahead of the deadline.
- Identify and reduce errors in the work instructions anywhere anytime to ensure maximum safety always thanks to Lumiform’s Online and Offline mode chat, logs, and inspection features.
- Track progress with field-proven data from multiple media to demonstrate how long each sequence is finished for better onboarding of new hires, using Lumiform’s built-in schedule and form builder features
- Upgrade your company’s quality management system by tapping external partners and consultants at no extra cost using Lumiform’s methodologies that are already trusted by leading companies in all industries.
- Ensure your team never deviates from protocols without needing constant reminders using Lumiform’s automated issue reporting and extensive data analytics.