Building a Documentation Culture – How to Get Your Staff to Start Documenting

Organizations don’t always respond to changes in the same way. Just because a fellow MSP managed to seamlessly build a documentation culture doesn’t necessarily mean you will be able to as well. What matters, however, is that you don’t drop the plan altogether at the first sign of resistance. After all, no one ever succeeded at anything by throwing in the towel when the going got tough.

Your team may not be all-in on documentation for a multitude of reasons: increased workload, lack of buy-in, no risk/recognition attached, etc. But no matter the reason, you have to get them on board because building a productive documentation culture can help your MSP provide a better customer experience, improve revenue growth and scale effectively.

Now the question is, if your team is putting up barriers, how do you get them on board? Well, get them to start documenting. Sounds counterintuitive, right? If people don’t want to document, then getting started is probably the issue, but hear us out. Use the carrot (and the stick, if needed) approach to nudge them to document. If implemented properly, over time, people will recognize the value it adds and how it makes their lives better. And soon, it will be part of your company culture.

Master the Mindset

When no one is documenting anything, it’s hard for any team to see the risks and rewards of documenting accurately. The mind then defaults to its natural tendency to be risk-averse, to see the risk associated with change as greater than it actually is, and the rewards of change as smaller than they actually are. Shifting this mindset is the key to success. The best way to do this is to just start getting things documented so that the rewards become less hypothetical and more apparent for your team. What will also happen is that the risks will start to appear as they actually are, which is to say, minimal at best. This takes us back to getting started.

Building a Positive Feedback Loop

One way to establish a positive feedback loop on documentation is through gamification. Start gamifying documentation. Use a combination of game design techniques, game mechanics and analytics to monitor your staff’s performance and reward them for the same.

Prizes, badges, special bonuses and other rewards, along with elements such as leaderboard point accumulation, will help trigger extrinsic motivation and make the whole process more appealing to your staff.

To implement this, you need a documentation solution that supports gamification. And for this, look no further than IT Glue. This platform comes with a built-in documentation gamification feature called Engagement. With this feature, you can gamify documentation completion and monitor/reward employees who engage the most with IT Glue.

On top of that, you can use the IT Glue-CrewHu integration to set up documentation contests. Yes, full-blown contests with a leaderboard, points and everything! Once activated, this integration lets you track and assign points for each document created, deleted, edited and viewed, and track the progress. At the end of a given timeframe, you can reward whoever hits the documentation goals and offer special prizes for employees with the most points. As simple as that!

What if It Doesn’t Work?

Well then, you may have to switch it up and adopt ‘the stick’ approach. Make documentation part of the job description so that everyone, including new staff, knows that it is a must-do activity. Communicate to your team that failure to document can have negative consequences.

Start tracking metrics, such as documents created, documents edited and documents viewed, to make sure they take it seriously. Besides that, you can appoint two document leads to monitor the progress and implement peer review of documentation to ensure that the documents are complete and adhere to agreed stipulations.

Wrapping Up

Building a documentation culture is hard work. But it gets a lot easier if you can get your team to start documenting. Once they start seeing the results for themselves, they won’t want to go back. Imagine being able to access all the client information you need in seconds. Every tech or service desk employee would want that.

This gets much easier when you have a smart documentation solution like IT Glue. By integrating PSA and RMM data, we can help increase your team’s efficiency, make them more self-reliant and reduce onboarding times. IT Glue makes it much easier for your team to see the value that documentation brings to the table.


Guest blog courtesy of IT Glue, a Kaseya company. Read more guest blogs from Kaseya here.

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