Documenting and implementing processes are essential for making your agency more efficient, reducing the amount of time you spend on non-billable work.
Some of your agency’s processes can be automated, to make them even less time-consuming – anything a computer can do reliably and quickly like chasing invoices – but other processes require a high level of involvement from your employees. Today I’m looking at 7 important processes that involve the people in your agency, which you should document to improve efficiency.
Unless your agency is growing really quickly, hiring new staff is something you’ll do only a couple of times a year. Having well-documented processes in place is essential to make sure the recruitment process runs smoothly and professionally, and that all candidates receive a consistent experience when applying to work at your agency.
1) Managing Applications
The application process can be a lengthy one: between writing a job description and posting a job advert, right through to making a job offer, there are lots of steps for your agency to work through. You’ll receive lots of applications and will need to ensure each one is followed up with appropriately, so a clearly defined process for managing applications is essential.
2) Job Interviews
Having a process for job interviews will help to standardise them, which will make it easier to objectively compare your candidates. Before the interview it will help you work out what questions you’ll ask and in what order, and after the interview it will mean you have a process in place to identify the best candidate and make a job offer.
Managing your employees is essential for the success of your agency. Defining processes that apply to all of your employees will make HR processes more efficient, and help your employees feel like they are all being treated and valued equally.
3) New Employee Onboarding
The first couple of days can be daunting for new employees, so having a documented onboarding process to follow will help them settle in. Some parts of their onboarding can be automated, but the bulk will need to be done by your team.
This process can include things for your agency team to complete – such as setting up important tools for them, or giving a tour of your office – as well as things for your new employee to do – like training or initial meetings. A new employee onboarding process will also standardise the process so all of your new employees have a similar experience, rather than some having much better experiences than others.
4) Performance Reviews
Regular performance reviews are essential for helping your employees grow and develop their skills, and are important for setting aside time to give them detailed feedback on their work and set goals and objectives. Defining the process for performance reviews will help to structure the conversation, and standardise the process across your whole agency team.
Your agency will be working on lots of different projects for lots of different clients, but all of your projects will have common elements and processes that can be standardised, to help improve your agency’s efficiency.
5) Client Meetings
Client meetings may seem like a really simple thing, but having a documented process in place can be a great help for new employees or new account managers in your agency. It can make sure nothing gets forgotten about, like booking a meeting room, putting together a slidedeck or making sure you’ve got a projector. A standardised, easy-to-follow process for client meetings will improve your agency’s professional image, as well as your efficiency.
6) Client Onboarding
When your agency takes on a new client, there’s a certain amount of set-up work that needs to happen in-house. From sending a welcome email to setting them up with accounts in key tools you use, it’s important to set out the steps that need to be completed before you can start working on your first project with them.
7) Project Sign-Off
Getting to the end of your deliverable work for your client is just the first step of signing off on a project, before you get paid. It’s important that you define the review and approval process that your project work needs to go through before you get sign-off on the project. This will likely be internal first, and then you’ll submit your work to your client for final sign-off.