It can seem like employees spend an eternity creating documents. This is because they may have to create the same documents over and over again. With business document templates, however, the amount of time spent is greatly reduced since you do not have to start from scratch and they minimize error, which means minimized need for certain error checks. To effectively use templates, however, businesses have to identify the templates they need and then determine how to create them.
The most commonly used templates fall into the following categories:
Any document that has legal implications falls in this category. This includes:
Legal documents are complex and usually need a legal brain to create but with templates, this can be done easily by a competent employee.
To create a legal document template, open a blank document in Word and save it as a template. As you save, ensure you give it an appropriate name that will make it easy to find. For example, “Service Contract Template” is a name anyone can remember.
Now that you have a fresh template to work on, you can start setting guidelines. Usually, the formatting is the next thing you should take care of. Use standard formatting that your business has agreed on. You can also set style guidelines.
The template can also have guiding content like headings, introductory statements as well as clauses that are a constant. For example, a service contract usually has most of the clauses as a constant but you can leave areas for variables to be added. When all the content is done, the document can be saved in a central location where authorized personnel can access it easily. Most business document templates are designed similarly.
Whether it is a big or small business, as long as there are employees, there will be a need for several HR documents. All the documents that are concerned with employee welfare and employment will fall under this category. These include:
Not every HR document may need a template, but it helps to have templates for commonly used documents that may take time to create and that need to follow certain guidelines. It can be tiresome having to create terms of employment from scratch so creating a template for every time a new employee is signed on is a better option.
Finance documents help a business keep track of success benchmarks. They show you if you are within budget or on a runaway train to debt. They are very important documents and with no errors. Using templates for these documents enables the finance department to keep their mind on the figures and the graphs instead of worrying about how many columns should be inserted in a particular report. Common finance documents include:
Sales and marketing are the heartbeats of a business because that is where the money comes from. Some documents within this department can pass for finance documents. If there is a department within a business that should be given priority when designing templates, it would be this one since the personnel has the hard task of marketing the business and they have a high document demand. Some of these important marketing documents include:
The administration handles a lot of communication internally as well as externally. This communication needs to be professionally structured and perfectly branded. Templates ensure that and more is achieved. The admin documents are varied and the most common include:
Identify the Need: Businesses are unique and therefore will have unique document needs. Each business needs to study their use of documents and identify which ones are used often. This is a process that should involve every department and it helps to handle it one department at a time. A list of the necessary templates will have to be made.
Create a Brand Identity: Your templates must epitomize your brand. Determine what fonts you will use, the size of the fonts, colors as well as the logo. You should have a uniform logo, not different versions used in different departments. The brand identity will determine the regulations that guide document creation within the template.
Choose a Template Designer: Evaluate the abilities of the staff within the business to see if there are individuals who can competently design templates. If there isn’t, you may need to outsource the task. You can also consider the use of software that can make template design easier and save costs. You may need more than one designer since the work may be a lot.
The implementation of designs may not be as easy as you imagine. You may need to hire a company to ensure that the templates are compatible with the applications you are using within your organization.
You can also have the templates automated so that they enter personalized information for example when using a CRM, the template will load a customer’s name and other personal information automatically.
A business will also need a template manager who has access to the template and can update the designs as needed. At the same time, user access should be implemented so that there is a centralized location where the templates can be accessed. Cloud storage would be the best option.
Once the templates are in use, monitor performance to ensure they are achieving the success you predicted, and where necessary, changes can be made.
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