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How to create a cheat sheet for your business

Cheat sheets are great to use when onboarding new staff members or highlighting core values and processes which your business uses. By designing an effective cheat sheet you give your staff a way to solve their problems with initiative and give them the information which they need to do their job well.

Six steps to creating cheat sheets for your business

1. Decide on the purpose of the cheat sheet

You need to decide why you want to create the cheat sheet. As mentioned above will it be used in your onboarding pack or will it be part of a shared drive where people can look for advice on how certain processes work within your business.

2. Determine the key information

If you are making a cheat sheet for a certain department gather the head of the department and ask them what is the key information you need each employee of your section to know. If you have a few employees and people involved in more than one area of business. Gather everyone and decide what key information they wished they had known before they started at your business. This will ensure you have the most important information.

3. Organise the information

Once you have the information, you can start to set it out in a clear and cohesive structure. Make use of headings, tables and bullet points to make the information easy to read.

4. Use images

Besides using photographs, you can make use of flowcharts or diagrams to show how the processes work and even how they work together with other sections of your business.

5. Review the cheat sheet

When you have finished designing the cheat sheet take it back to the parties who will ultimately be responsible for the document. Ask them to check that all the critical information is in the cheat sheet. They should also check it is clear and easy to read. This might be a good time to get someone new to the business to look through it too as they will have fresh eyes and may ask good questions about information which you may not have thought of because it is second nature to you.

When the review is done, implement any revisions which will make the cheat sheet clearer.

6. Distribute it

Now you need to give the cheat sheet to those who need it. You can save it in a shared drive where everyone can have access to it no matter where they work. You can also put it up in a communal place in your office where those who need to see the cheat sheet can view it every day.

By following these six steps you will be well on your way to creating a document which will make it easy to onboard new staff members and will help your employees to be clearer on how the different processes in your business work and who would be responsible for the different steps in the process.

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