Every day, your employees are sending and receiving documents from each other. Departments communicate with each other, to let everyone involved know what kind of developments have been happening for a task they are working on. The sales team needs to send over invoices to the financial team. The risk department is constantly sending over reports to the C-suite. At every level of your business, documents are flowing back and forth. But what about the actual flow itself, could that not be made better? Anything and everything is able to be made more efficient in business. But the document flow is often something that gets overlooked and in the end, you pay for it with confusion, employee conflict, overrunning deadlines and a lack of cohesion.

Identification of task

No matter what employee, from whatever department, sends a document, there has to be a clear identification process. What type of document is it? What is the document about? Who is it for? These three questions have to be answered before moving ahead. Is it a form, screenshot, invoice, checklist, report, internal review or a contract? Each of these should be color-coded so even without reading the title, an employee knows what sort of document they are handling. Then the heading needs to be clear, in order to show the reader what the issue in the document is bringing up, resolving or perhaps planning for. This should be clear and in bold font. Keeping it in the center is the best option. The recipients should be listed in the first sentence. This way, everyone involved can quickly get involved rather than rely on a subject matter to be brought up halfway before realizing they are needed in the discussion.

Receiving and responding

The reason why you need to color code the type of document is because employees will be working on many things at once. They need to know whether a document is a priority or not. Deadlines need to be met and if the employee can handle the request or concern of a document later and allow themselves to complete an urgent task, then the color code will take the worry out of it. Having levels of importance as well as color coding is very effective at improving time management. If level 3 is the highest, it will be treated as urgent and more readily responded to. The level number should be in the color code bar itself. If a document is not of urgency regarding its type but is of a higher level, then a quicker but not immediate response is required from the sender.

Storing before sending

Many employees will have draft documents ready and waiting to be completed and sent. Using Managed IT Services, your office can utilize various cloud systems to store your email and documents without them being compromised before being sent. The service will provide you with servers with encryption, so data is scrambled while in storage and whole when you retrieve it.

The flow of documents must have an ordered approach, otherwise, employees will fall behind in deadlines. Color coding and storing documents ready to be sent will keep employees focussed for each task. 

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