What is a workflow?
Let’s start at the very beginning. You may be wondering, “what the heck even is a workflow?” Trust me, you are not alone. To be honest, you might even have a workflow in your business or daily life already and not even realize it!
In the simplest terms, a workflow is a set of repeatable tasks or actions. You can use over and over again, in order to transform materials, provide a service, process information or achieve a goal.
An excellent example of this is when you are onboarding an employee. There is an organized system of steps that need to be taken in a specific order when hiring someone. It needs to be logical and flow. When onboarding someone to your team, you will likely first have the step of reaching out to their references before giving them a uniform and login information. This is part of a workflow, as this is a logical order of repeatable steps to take when onboarding a team member.
Why have a workflow?
Having workflows set up in your business will ensure tasks are being done in a logical order and getting completed on time, everytime! Having a workflow in place takes away the risk of bottlenecking your projects and experiencing project delays.
A classic example of this is when you go to batch schedule your social media posts for the next month. You go into your photo or template library to find you have ZERO content. It is great that you were trying to be proactive and batch your content. But without a workflow in place and you are missing a vital step in the process of making sure you have content even to batch schedule!
Having a workflow set up gives team members responsibilities and invites everyone to contribute to a bigger goal. Not only is this a great way to bring the team together and make everyone feel like they had a part in a project, it will also force a standard in your business for a team member to follow. It creates a sort of policy that each step in the workflow must be completed to move on. It also sets a great example of what your workplace policy is when hiring new team members.
How do I set one up?
To get started with workflows, using a Project Management software like Asana or Trello can help you loads! Not only is it super visual to see all your steps laid out for you, but you can save documents, spreadsheets and photos within each step.
Even for something like putting together a weekly newsletter. Having a workflow laid out in a Project Management software can help increase your productivity by allowing you to see what parts you are missing. For something like a newsletter, you may be waiting on a different team member for either picture, write up or event date confirmations. In software like Asana or Trello, you can easily see what your missing and how close you are to completing the task!
It’s good to sit down and and systematically think about ALL the steps involved in your tasks. Lay them out in order and make a note of how long each of these tasks should take. This gives a guideline for your employees to follow and keeps you all on track. Transfer these workflows to your prefered shared platform for employees or display it clearly in an office space (that means your home office too!) to remind you to implement these steps each time!