How do you make appealing work instructions?
The manufacturing industry is changing fast. Companies take trends into account and use new technologies. Yet it is strange that many work instructions still look the same as 10 years ago. Everything within the factory has evolved digitally, but in the field of work instructions people still use unclear forms. Time for change! This blog article is aimed at professionals who want to commit to work instructions that are understood and appreciated by every employee in the company.
Labor market trends influence the way employees communicate. Internationalization of the labor market, for example, leads to more language and cultural differences in the workplace. So work instructions must respond to this. Are they easy to read for workers with a different native language? At the moment, many companies in Belgium have employees who don’t speak Dutch. Therefore we need work instructions that can be easily translated.
In addition, we need to take into account that there is often no opportunity to quietly and concentratedly go through a long work instruction. The message and impact must become clear in seconds. For work instructions this means: short and concise. An important trend in our society is the visual aspect that emerges. Photos, videos with instructions and short texts are now also used on the labor market.
Just look at social media, workers have different viewing and reading behavior than ten years ago. By using a lot of images you can respond to this with your work instructions. In short, a work instruction must take trends into account. As a result, an appealing work instruction in 2020 will look different from the work instructions from ten years ago.
Use new technology
What opportunities does new technology offer for creating appealing work instructions? Think, for example, to startups that are fully engaged in responding to new, digital trends. Azumuta makes it possible to consult work instructions online with your smartphone or tablet using QR codes. With QR codes at specific locations and objects (such as a machine), employees can use the on-site view work instruction on their smartphone. The advantage is that you can keep the work instructions up to date in a central location and it is relatively easy to offer a large number of translations.
Put your employees first
What is the key when creating work instructions? Azumuta suggests two things: work instructions must help employees to perform the work correctly. Employees are the starting point and key factor of the company. A second important point is that a work instruction only works if after reading the instruction they know very concretely what to do, how to do it and it motivates him because he or she finds it relevant, valuable and workable.
How do you make appealing work instructions?
We share 5 tips in this blog.
Tip 1: Make it concrete
Who is the work instruction intended for? Check what you know about them:
- Do you know their language skills?
- Can they read Dutch?
- Is there cultural diversity?
Describe in which situation the work instruction is used. And make this as concrete as possible:
- How much time do they have to read the work instruction?
- Which platform are you going to use (tablet, remote screen, smartphone).
- Describe what this means for text and pictures.
Work instructions for drivers who come to load and unload goods must be described in different languages. Because their language is often not known in advance. In addition, these work instructions must be provided with icons that are understood universally.
Tip 2: Describe what the user should do
Indicate what the user should actually do, based on the work instruction.
"Where necessary, wear relevant personal protective equipment." Prefer: "Wear safety shoes in hall A and when cleaning wear the gloves, hard hat, hi-vis with number XYZ." Be concrete.
Tip 3: be as clear as possible
Put the requested action first - summarize everything in one place. Create overview of issues or problems.
Work description: Make your own mouth mask (Btw, you can make your own mouth mask using this blog) Start - cut material - make folds - stitch cover
Tip 4: Use image
- Can you easily replace text with images? Do it!
- Can you enhance text with images? Do it as well.
- Use video if possible
(All above aspects easy to add with Azumuta)
Tip 5: Test, test, and test again
Together with your employees, test whether they fully understand what to do. Ask for feedback and adjust. Add as much info as possible to a work instruction so that everyone in the factory gets a complete overview of what needs to be done.
Just test what works in your factory.
Azumuta has an all-in-one platform that makes everything run automatically for you. Work instructions become a piece of cake. Would you like to take a closer look at your factory floor?