Kim had been with LogicPrepÂ from the very beginning–when there were just four of us working out of one room. Since joiningÂ in 2011, sheÂ helped us grow from fourÂ to 25 employees, coordinate the move to our current office (she and her husband literally carried furniture and hung our sign), and consistentlyÂ increased annual revenue byÂ 30% year over year.
She really did it all.Â And, well, that was the problem.
When Kim announced that she’d be moving across the country in two weeks with her husband, who got an amazing new job in California, we worried where that would leave LogicPrep.Â She was our one-woman HR, client relations, and finance departments, and while the “all hands on deckâ€ mentality is invigorating, it can create problems when the company relies too much on one person and doesn’t have clearly defined roles.
We’veÂ created a better system since then, delvingÂ into best practices for splitting up jobs, mitigating role confusion, and writing employee manuals. Here’s how to put these principles to the test in your own business.
We realized we needed a more complex system to capture the complexity of Kim’s job–but manuals are just so old-fashioned. Pre-empt the need to document jobs only on departure by encouraging every employee in your company to capture his or her responsibilities, along with relevant links to websites, PDFs, etc. on a backend website. We use SquarespaceÂ for this. This doesn’t have to be a massive side project, either; it may simply be helpful for employees to keep the Squarespace site open in the background of their computers over the course of a couple of months. They can fill it in as they’re completing their daily tasks. This format is more flexible and interactive than a traditional manual, which may not effectively capture the dynamic nature of a growing company.
Lindsay Tanne is co-founder and COO ofÂ LogicPrep, an education company that helps families navigate the college admissions landscape.
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