How to “Face the Blank Page” at Work

Lee Isreal was a successful writer in the 60’s and 70’s. By 1993, her career was in shambles, she began forging letters by deceased actors and writers to pay rent. She sold more than 400 letters before being caught by the FBI. 

Moral judgement aside, how was she able to fool so many scholars and literary savants? And why did she write, “I still consider the letters to be my best work.”?

Because her byline wasn’t on the letters. She was removed from criticism.

The fear of criticism, failure and rejection is what prevents us from facing the blank page at work. Every email we send, document we type and report we create has our name attached to it. Everyone knows feedback is a good thing, but few are eager to sign up for it.   

Here’s how you can overcome fear and write better at work. 

Fact vs. Fiction: Writer’s Block

Many people find themselves unable to begin when they set out to write an email, a document, a presentation or even a lengthy chat message. Some attribute this to, “writer’s block.” 

Writing isn’t the only task that requires perseverance. Yet we don’t throw around terms such as Coder’s Clog or Designer’s Deterrence. The idea of writer’s block has been around since the 1940's. But if you look up how to overcome writer’s block, the internet will tell you: you’re lazy and stop making excuses!

Novelist Philipp Meyer put it best.

He said writer’s block is your internal critic being turned up too high when it’s time to write, it must be turned down to zero when it’s time to write or create. This applies to the workplace as well. Fear is one of the main factors when it comes to the inability to write, along with several other influences.

Fear - The fear of failure impacts many at work. Perhaps your boss has distressing, unfair standards and they impede your work. Fear could mean imposter syndrome where people don’t feel qualified for a position. It could be a fear driven by perfectionism, and not being able to start because you’re already thinking about potential mistakes. 

Exhaustion - There’s a long list of things that the tired brain struggles with, one of those being cutting out distractions and staying focused on a task. Studies show our brain cells have a harder time communicating when we’re tired, which leads to temporary mental lapses that affect memory and visual perception.

Time & Preparation - Many consider stress and anxiety the biggest contributors to their writing problems, but time and preparation should not be overlooked. Traditional writing preparation requires gobs of research, even for fiction writers. In a work setting, this could mean talking the situation out with colleagues, reviewing similar items (past emails, reports, etc), and other internal resources. 

The main takeaway for overcoming writer’s block is if you sit there and wallow in your perceived failure, you’re unlikely to get a literary epiphany. Take a lap around the building, find a creative outlet or grab some snacks instead. Return to the task when you have the first sentence or note in mind. 

DocOps in Action: The DocOps methodology applies a strategy to help you prepare for any form of writing. The creation of a Preparation Document before you begin writing allows authors to gather five necessary components for clear and powerful writing. 

  1. Write down a description of the intended audience: Is this content for a manager, a team or the whole company? Thinking about this first will impact everything else.  

  2. Write down your intended goal for the reader: Listing the goal of an email before you write it takes seconds but might prevent an entire thread of confusing replies and follow up questions. 

  3. Briefly outline your strategy and constraints: Decide how you’ll go about delivering your message and list out any constraints, such as who else needs to approve it, deadlines or maximum length. 

  4. Create a set of writing prompts to reinforce the strategy: Creating a set of linear writing prompts provides a head start so you can jump into writing without fear of veering off track. 

  5. Gather relevant source material: Gather screenshots or media assets that you’ll need. If nothing else, it’s a good way to make sure you don’t forget the attachment! 

Make Writing Skills a Priority

Don’t overlook how important it is to face the blank page. Each effort made is a step toward better writing skills. And writing skills matter across all professions and industries. Clear writing demonstrates clear thinking. Every boss, co-worker and customer appreciates when writing is easy to and takeaways are immediately known. And the benefits go beyond that. 

Creativity & Persuasion: A Linkedin analysis of their data which has up 50,000 skills said the two most important soft skills for professionals were creativity and persuasion. Writing is a great way to improve both. 

Protect Your Career: We already have bots who can write basic news stories or post-game reports, but creative writing that drives human interest is another story. Writing skills are good to have as automation becomes more prevalent. 

Build Confidence: According to Susan K. Perry, Ph.D, depression and anxiety tend to cause rumination, repetitive dreary thoughts. When you’re in the flow of writing (whether personal or at work) you become deeply involved. Frustrations are pushed aside and confidence builds gradually. 

Tackle writer’s block. Write without fear at work, and do it often. Your career, brain and mental state will benefit.

Meetings: How to Build Smart Agendas and Bylaws

Meetings without agendas are like hospitals without doctors. You might get something out of it, but there's a good chance you’ll end up hurting more than when you went in. 

Even those who recommend an agenda-less approach note the need for outcome statements and goals. If you’re able to diagnose and treat the issue on the fly, then go for it. But for the rest of us without our PhD in Meetingomics, here’s how to make sure your agendas and standards are effective. 

Beyond the Agenda 

Want to have a good meeting? Create an agenda. It’s been written a million times. But if having an agenda was the answer, we wouldn’t have so many complaints about meetings. The actual first step is align a purpose with your agenda. There are generally six categories. 

  • Decision making - Deciding on a new hire, event planning, selecting a prototype, etc. These meetings require a decision following discussion. 

  • Correct a problem - Responding to an incident, fixing a customer complaint, disciplinary actions, etc. These meetings bring an issue to the attention of a team and identify the best possible action. 

  • Brainstorms - Collecting creative information for client deliverables, marketing content or new feature ideas. Brainstorms can have their own bylaws and standards. 

  • Broadcast information - All-hands meetings, company structure updates, PR and news updates, etc. These instances are reserved for when the information is too important to risk an unread email. 

  • Collect feedback - Reviewing A/B tests, feature reviews, team performance reviews, etc. These help managers and team members collect feedback that would not be shared through other mediums.  

  • Status review - Team cadence meetings, project reviews, one-on-one reviews, etc. These meetings examine the progress of something. 

Defining an agenda category is a great first step. The difficult part is when there’s not enough time to pick a category, let alone create a detailed agenda. Enacting meeting bylaws can help with efficiency when preparation is inadequate. 

Meeting Bylaws

These are some of the meeting rules applied by successful organizations. They’re backed by experts and social science. 

The Intro - American Express Executive Christopher Frank popularized a series of questions to begin meetings: 

  • What is the purpose?: If you’ve picked one of the agenda categories above, this question should be known by everyone on the invite. 

  • What is the issue…in five words or less?: Asking this question to everyone in the room immediately creates a roundtable effect. Most issues are complex enough where you won’t get the same answers, which kicks off discussion and reduces the chances of off-topic chatter and confusion. 

  • Who has already weighed in and what did they have to say about it?: This question also kicks off proper discussion. You’ll find out if the right people are present: those who developed the initial issue, the stakeholders, and the decision makers. Ineffective meetings don’t get this question out until near the end, which brings more discussion. 

Short and Serviceable - The worst default setting in software history is calendar apps that default to a 30-minute or one-hour meeting time. As if every meeting should be 14% of our day (with lunch) and two meetings should be 5% of our week. It may sound insignificant until you factor in conversations with team members, dealing with customers and all the unforeseen happenings of a given day. 

It’s worth noting that there is no scientifically-proven sweet spot for meeting length. Studies that attempt to prove that our attention spans are 10-15 minutes have been inconclusive. And it’s just not true that we have goldfish-like attention spans of 8 seconds (actually, the goldfish thing isn’t true either). Anyway, the point is that it’s not about an exact length of time, it’s about setting the principle that meetings will be short without being rushed. And ramblers shall be cut off (politely). 

No tech - Create a digital coat check or assign a single laptop note taker. It’s a simple, powerful concept that isn’t applied universally. The most common objection to banning smartphones and laptops is, “I need to answer customers!” Solve this by limiting meeting length. Don’t forget that handwritten notes stick to our memory more than typed. 

No spectators - Everything above encourages participation and purpose. Usually meeting spectators are the ones who feel justified bringing their laptops and multi-tasking. If you don’t have a follow-up task, are not impacted, and don’t need to weigh in - there’s no need to be there. At best, the spectator might contribute something vaguely useful, at worst they’ll discourage someone who needs to weigh in from doing so. 

Assign tasks

Steve Jobs and Apple are known for the D.R.I. (directly responsible individual) standard for meetings. Every member of the meeting is assigned a task at the conclusion of the meeting. If someone doesn’t have a task, was their presence needed? If it’s a broadcast-type meeting or team announcement, the D.R.I can be replaced with D.I.I (directly impacted individual), everyone should confirm how they are affected by said announcement and what changes, if any, they will make.

The DocOps Culture

These ideas about meeting agendas and bylaws are only useful if they’re shared amongst a team. Team members assume certain bylaws are common knowledge. Creating documents with an organization’s meeting philosophy and protocol is how everything above can be implemented. 

Relevant documents for better meetings include: 

Meeting Agenda Guidelines - If teams sync up on meeting agendas, it’ll make cross-department transfers smoother. And give new meeting leaders a headstart on how to run their meetings. 

Meeting Bylaws - Determine which meeting bylaws should be used throughout the company. This can be a standalone document or one section of a comprehensive overview. 

Meeting Tools & Resources - One team might be using a SaaS tool while another relies on their calendar functionality. Allow everyone to use the same resources by documenting what’s available. 

Team Charter - Anticipated team and department meetings should be included within a team charter document. This allows team members to prepare and coordinate while giving executives a better look into how everything works. 

Smart agendas and thoughtful bylaws are important, but other organizational factors impact meeting effectiveness. Collect feedback from management and individual contributors to build a comprehensive overview of the status quo. You can then begin to implement these guidelines. 

How Meeting Culture Affects our Workplace

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In 1975, the first-ever meeting between astronauts and cosmonauts took place during the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. Soviets and Americans shook hands through an open hatch and remained docked together for 44 hours. The meeting cooled Cold War tensions and ushered in a new era of technical and scientific collaboration.

That was the last successful meeting in history.

Ok maybe not.

But a general hatred or at least an acceptable level of disgust of meetings is one of the few common bonds of mankind.

Here’s some insight into how we got here and the status of business meetings today.

The Meeting Culture Problem

In 2005, a Microsoft study found more than two-thirds (71%) of respondents said their meetings during the week were unproductive. Twelve years later, similar research was published in the Harvard Business Review. Again, 71% of managers said their meetings were unproductive and inefficient. 

During this 12-year period, we’ve seen a lifetime’s worth of technological advancement. SaaS has exploded, high-speed internet is the norm and the amount of available tools to improve meetings and avoid them when unnecessary has increased exponentially. 

Yet the issue of unproductive meetings is still pervasive. Why? Let’s start with the obvious, no one likes them because they usually suck. We know the culprits. 

The “couldn’t have this been an email?!” meeting - The meeting is brief (thankfully). But covers a singular topic without any collaboration with the participants. From the participant’s perspective, it was unnecessary. From the manager’s perspective, they can’t confirm the email would be read, or even opened. So yes, it was necessary.  

The “amnesia” meeting - The meeting goes well, but it all goes downhill when an airborne form of dementia disperses through the room just before the meeting concludes. Whatever was said, is lost. Whatever was written, is unintelligible. 

The “BYOD” meeting - Surely we are professional enough to bring our laptop to a meeting for the purpose of taking notes or looking up relevant info - wrong. Laptops during meetings usually means “bring your own distraction” with multi-tasking, general tasks of distraction (social media, internet errands, etc) or chatting with coworkers...who are in the same meeting. 

The “remote conference bingo” meeting - If one or more remote employees are teleconferencing, you’ll often begin playing remote conference bingo. 

“Can you hear me now”
“You’re on mute”
Excruciating feedback noise
“Are you still there?”
FREE SPACE
Overtalking… “Sorry, go ahead”
Child and/or animal noises
“Can you repeat that, you broke up”
“Sorry, I was on mute”

The “wanderer” meeting - If casual conversation and camaraderie isn’t common in at a workplace, meetings become the only place for employees to interact. This turns meetings into watercooler sessions with rambling, off-topic conversations. 

The “lone ranger” meeting - By definition, meeting means: “the act of coming together.” So when one person spends the duration of the gathering to pontificate or deliver a one-way sermon, it’s not helpful. More importantly, it won’t deliver the desired result. 

Those are just a few common examples. Meetings can also be repetitive, lack context or direction, important people could be missing, or the whole thing can get interrupted by an unsolvable disagreement. 

We’ve all experienced these issues, and more than a decade of data confirms that people feel the issues above create unproductive outputs - so why is “meeting culture” still such an issue? Some argue it’s not. Meetings are a necessary evil for sharing important information. The problems are simply a byproduct of the system, but do not hinder businesses. 

However if you try to calculate cost for bad meetings, the numbers are astronomical. Doodle’s 2019 State of Meetings Report estimated that two hours of pointless meetings per week equates to $399 billion of wasted money. Another frequently shared estimate says $37 billion. Similar to the issue of tribal knowledge loss, it’s hard to quantity this issue with an exact dollar amount. 

The Distraction Culture Problem

There’s another way to illustrate the problem, the cost of unnecessary distraction. 

Marketers, writers, developers, salespeople and executives all have one thing in common. We require dedicated periods of focus during the day to get things done. This is referred to as “deep work” time and a lack of it hurts productivity. This is one reason why the amount of remote jobs and remote work in general continues to rise, remote workers are generally less prone to distraction. 

A University of California study found it takes 23 minutes and 15 seconds to resume a task after being distracted. A click-tracking study of app developers found that only 10% of the time, were they able to return to their task in less than a minute after a distraction. 

These distractions can be avoided by scheduling meetings well ahead of time and having strict time guidelines. But we know it doesn’t usually work like that. 

The DocOps Culture

There are plenty of SaaS products focused on improving meetings with features such as calendar integration, agenda builders and automated follow-ups. Others rely on Microsoft Office products or Google suite to provide similar functions. 

They might save you time, and make meetings more enjoyable. But they’re not going to overhaul your organization. The DocOps system goes beyond just accepting the problems that meetings bring. 

Instead you can focus on getting to the underlying issue which causes ineffective meetings. This could be a lack of information sharing between departments, a missing central database of information or general confusion on what meetings should and shouldn't be. All of these problems are addressed through the documentation of processes and protocol. 

Identifying your meeting problem, and paying for or instilling solutions to help is a great start. But the rest of this series focuses on how to improve meeting agendas and decision making. 

DocOps Inspiration: 30 Document Ideas

If you’re not sure what you’re missing when it comes to preserving knowledge, or need ideas on where to start - we’re here to help.

Here are 30 potential document ideas for inspirational enjoyment. 

Charters & Plans

1. Team Charter - A team charter document is a North Star when it comes to team communication and project and/or company guidelines. Team charters generally include:

  1. Background & context

  2. Objective

  3. Roles & responsibilities

  4. Team operations

  5. Budget, resources and available support

  6. Final Consensus

Read more: 6 Core Components of a Team Charter Document

Similar Documents: 

  • Requirement Management Plan (RMP) - A more in-depth version of a team or product charter. Instead of being digested by the entire team before work begins, the RMP is used by managers and project managers to develop a macro strategy which includes all the finer details not necessary for a charter document. 

  • Work-Product Charter - A work-product charter or project charter is similar to the team charter but more refined to focus a specific project or task. Some organizations will include the meat of their product charter within a team charter document, while some will find it easier to split them up. 

2. Project Proposal (Press Release FAQ) - Every project should start with a short 1 - 2 page document in the form of a press release FAQ. This includes a summary of the problem or motivation for the work, description of the solution, and timelines. Ask those most obvious questions that you would expect from the intended audience. 

Management

3. Roles and Process - Define how team members should interact in terms of task ownership, hierarchy and decision making.  

4. Goals and Constraints - A main objective for Google and many other companies is making sure employees have a sense of purpose with what they’re doing. Defining goals and constraints helps employers understand the bigger picture and feel valued. Also, being transparent about constraints and limitations is an important step for transparency. 

5. Program Review Log - A program review document or log is useful for any funded program within an organization. Associated costs, points of contact, external partners, expected budget increases or decreases, etc. are included among other finance-related concerns. 

6. Requirement Traceability Matrix (RTM) - A RTM is a traditional form of project management system that creates a matrix for tasks, assigned parties, requirements and ID numbers. 

7. Personal or Team Goals - S.M.A.R.T. goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Individuals should work with their managers and mentors to develop goals. Every manager should take specific goals to help achieve inherited goals, and help their team improve operations.

8. Promotion Proposals - Write documents to propose and review promotions. These include several sections and should use the six page format. A reviewing panel should consist of peer managers, proposed role and level peers, and more senior management. The template includes:

  • Employee information

  • Recent performance ratings

  • Describe the promotion (Current and proposed job title, effective date etc) 

  • Promotion justification

  • Reasons not to promote

  • Raw Feedback

9. Correction of Error (CoE) - A correction of error should be completed as a retrospective to some significant miss. Ideally, CoEs are self-prescribed, but management or customers might require a team to complete a CoE if the miss is particularly disruptive or high-visibility . The template includes eight sections:

  • Title, Date, and Owner

  • Summary

  • Context and Metrics

  • Customer Impact

  • Timeline

  • Five Whys

  • Lessons Learned

  • Corrective Actions

10. Business Plan - A business plan or business overview document helps new employees quickly understand the company and learn the “why” behind their origins. 

11. Business Requirements Document (BRD) - A BRD is created when a business enters into an agreement with another business or vendor. The necessary contracts and signed agreements then follow. 

12. Non-disclosure Agreement (NDA) - Every company should have an NDA on file so they’re protected when working with vendors or job candidates. These can be created easily with the help of online templates. 

13. Employee Agreement - Another routine document for companies to provide legal protection and transparency.  

Hiring, Interviewing & HR

14. Employee Onboarding Checklist - Employee onboarding requires a series of documents, but a well thought out checklist is a great place to start. 

15. Interview Preparation Document - Retaining a consistent message in interviews across departments helps company perception, which is more important now in the era of Glassdoor and increased vetting by top candidates. 

16. Role Description - A job description that accurately describes the day-to-day workload and interactions associated with the role.

  1. Reference processes, artifacts, and detail interactions with other roles

  2. Describe lines of communication and reporting structures

  3. Describe individual success criteria: goals and constraints

  4. Focus on how the role does their work rather than the specific workloads

17. Feedback - Feedback is a gift, but critical feedback can be a challenge. Triggering a defensive reaction from the feedback recipient can do more harm than good.

Here are some guidelines for feedback documents:

    • Use a situation, behavior, impact construct

      • Describe the situation

      • Describe the person’s behavior

      • Describe how that behavior impacted the situation or outcome

    • Use low emotion; describe impact in business terms

    • Acknowledge biases and document author context

    • Never say or write “You”

Marketing

18. Audience Personas (Target Audience) - Audience research documents are usually controlled by the marketing team but should be accessible by all, and written in a similar format as other important documents. 

19. Mission & Vision / About Us - This information is published on the company website, but a through document without the need for brevity is another powerful tool for workplace culture and employee training. 

20. Marketing Blueprint - The marketing blueprint or plan is a catch-all for audience personas, budget and objectives. These documents explain the tactics to be used for a given time frame, and the process to follow if circumstances change. 

21. Content Marketing Plan - A content marketing plan might be covered in an extensive marketing blueprint, but includes more specific details such as content categories, posting frequency and promotion channels. 

Product

22. Product Vision Document - Every SaaS company must lay out the philosophy behind their product which defines the goal and purpose of their product. 

  • Also known as: Product tenants 

23. Use Cases - Documenting relevant use cases of a product or business is another helpful tool for employee onboarding and reducing the learning curve for new employees. 

  • Also known as: Customer success stories 

24. User stories - User stories define how users interact with a product. The traditional prompt is, “as a ____, I want ___, so that ____” These should be shared outside of the engineering team and reviewed by other departments. 

25. Product Requirements Documentation (PRD) - A PRD is an essential document for product managers. It describes four key areas within product development: defining purpose, describing features, setting release criteria, and rough timelines. This should be shared with designers, developers and stakeholders. 

26. Functional Specification Document (FSD) - This document expands on the PRD by defining the product specifications of what each function will do on a granular level. 

  • Also known as: Functional requirement specification (FRS)

Engineering & IT

27. Software Requirement Document (SRD) - The SRD breaks down an engineering issue into sections and steps. It provides a reference for testing, design specifications and can be handed to a client to validate an understanding of the problem. 

  • Also known as: System requirement specification (SRS)

28. Test case - Test case documentation records test results. This can be used by for backend tests or confirming automations with things like lead routing. The tests usually include: ID, test scenario, pre-conditions, test steps and data, results and conclusions. 

29. Troubleshooting documentation - These documents help developers follow the right process when problems occur. And how to understand and find information in logs. 

30. Engineering Game Day Report - A “game day” experiment tests some operational event or error condition. These help highlight issues or validate that automated corrective actions are in place to minimize impact. 

  • Summary of the experiment logistics

  • Notification of approval

  • Implementation

  • Experiment timeline

  • Observed Impact

  • Action items and follow-ups

  • Supporting documents

Also known as: Chaos Experiments

5 Documents Every Team Should Have

Good collaboration is creative brainstorms and insightful discussions. It solves problem, enables autotomy and builds relationships. 

Bad collaboration is the inability to answer questions without asking someone else. It hinders projects and processes when people aren’t sure what to do without “collaborating” first.  

The best way to avoid trivial collaboration is to document everything people need to do their jobs. This provides workforce autonomy and creates a distraction-free environment where everyone gets time to focus. 

Creating this documentation sounds daunting. But everything you need is already spread across various channels or committed to memory. 

Here are five starting documents that apply to nearly every team and every industry. 

1. Team Charter

A team charter is a canvas for any leader to map out strategy. Workplace problems such as role confusion, employee-manager tension, unnecessary overwork, etc. All of these are symptoms of a missing team charter. 

There’s no sense in following a strict team charter template for several reasons. 

The concept of “team” varies. A team charter could be for a small team within a massive corporation or for a newly launched 5-person startup.

Team charters are not confined to a certain industry. Analyzing the nuances of a given situation is a necessary step of creation. 

There’s not a template with everything needed to effectively lead and manage a team. Every situation is different and every team charter will vary accordingly. 

With that said, here are two methods for getting started. 

  • Background & Context 

  • Objective

  • Roles & Responsibilities 

  • Team Operations 

  • Budget, Resources and Available Support 

  • Final Consensus 

We’ve expanded on these here: 6 Core Components of a Team Charter Document

Another approach is to use these writing prompts: 

  • Who the Team is

  • How the Team is structured

  • How the Team fits into the larger organization

  • Who depends on the Team

  • What Team does to serve their customers/clients

  • The principles that guide the Team in those pursuits

2. Job Descriptions/Role Criteria 

A job description accurately describes the day-to-day workload and interactions associated with the role. These documents include: 

  • Day-to-day and long-term processes

  • Interactions with other teams and roles

  • Lines of communication and reporting structure

  • Individual success criteria: goals and constraints

  • How the role operates (opposed to a workload list)

Many companies task the creation of job descriptions to the HR department or a generic team member. This is a missed opportunity. 

Job descriptions should be reviewed and improved constantly as organizations change. Job descriptions are an opportunity to attract the best of the best. They can be a statement of company’s culture and innovation. The most notable example of this is the Netflix culture deck which included 129 slides about how the company operates and what it believe in. However you don’t need a viral slide deck to get some of the same benefits. Creative job descriptions are a vehicle for sharing personality, and showing how the company is unique. 

3. Goal Framework/Log

A lack of written, transparent and fair goals is connected with several employee dissatisfaction issues. For instance: 

Availability of training - Without goals, employees can’t determine what training they need. They’re tasked with projects last minute and run on a feedback treadmill that doesn’t translate to improvement. 

Relationship with their manager - Just as athletes don’t need to be best friends to win championships, managers and team members can perform well with a baseline of respect. Personal differences will bubble up without documented goals and shared investment. 

Opportunity to speak up and share feedback - Employees need to have a plan for personal growth that ties into company trajectory. This empowers them to share meaningful feedback that is backed by data from their goal logs. 

Employers don’t care - Without written goals, it’s natural for employees to feel like “just a number.” It’s also natural for employees to overlook employee contributions if they’re not tracking goals often. 

An effective framework for creating goals is S.M.A.R.T. This means all goals should be: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. 

Goal setting and accountability must be a shared responsibility to work. Every manager should take specific steps to help achieve inherited goals, and help their team improve operations.

4. Employee Onboarding Program

Employee onboarding deserves more than a checklist. A better fitting term is program, or plan of action. 

There should also be a series of documents that can be reviewed together so the new employee has a clear understanding of responsibilities, and can provide feedback. 

Programs are better than simple checklists because onboarding doesn’t just apply to new employees. Promotions, lateral job movements, organizational changes, transitioning to a remote role are just a few examples of when onboarding is needed for existing employees. This is possible if job descriptions, success criteria, software usage guides, etc. are clearly documented, and can be reviewed appropriately. 

5. Interview Protocol

Interviews will vary between departments. But similar to job descriptions, there’s an opportunity to brand the experience. Certain personality and culture questions can be asked to every single interviewee. This experience leads into the first day as employees automatically have something in common to discuss.

Additionally, each interview usually begins with a company intro about history, expectations and how things work. All interviewing managers should collaborate on this intro (without scripting it),  so interviewees get a similar feel of the company. 

Another crucial reason for interview protocol collaboration is the ability to eliminate bias. Don’t risk passing on talented and qualified candidates simply because their name, look or even past experience. Candidates should be given the opportunity to complete skill-based tests or assessments at some point in the process. These assessments will vary by position, but can be structured in the same way or share similar conventions.