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Creating work instructions can be a difficult process, especially when people complete processes differently. Use these tips to create work instructions that are efficient, effective, and useable by any employee.

Formatting Guides

Although it might seem counterintuitive, the best way to create work instructions is by breaking a process into multiple smaller steps.

  • Use Prerequisites
    • Break any section of a process that is often reused into its own guide.
      • By breaking up a common process into its own guide, you can link it as a prerequisite guide to any of the many processes you create
      • This way you will only have to write this section of the proccess out one time and it can be applied easily to many larger processes.

Guide Steps

Steps are the foundation that each process is built upon, so it's important to make sure these steps are easy for everyone to underand.

  • Provide clear titles for each step so people will know what each step will be showing them.
    • For example, "Secure Upper Cables with 1/2mmm Screws".
  • Use all of the different available bullet point types.
    • Using bullets types like Warning, Note, and Reminder help make salient points stand out more, so the readers will be more likely to take note of them.

Parts and Tools

Attach parts and tools to your documents so your employees know what they need for the procedure.


Visual instructions are more effective, and no visual instructions would truly be complete without pictures.

Taking Photos

  • Take a photo for every step of the process.
    • Even if it seems unnecessary to you, photographs help make a step easier to understand, and the easier to understand a step is, the better an employee will perform.
  • Photographs should show:
    • Where the process is happening
    • How to perform the process
      • You may occasionally ask the employee that is going through the process to pause for a photograph.

Attaching Photos

  • Attach pictures in each step to show what is going on.
  • For more complex steps, include a "zoomed out" picture to get an overview of the process and a "zoomed in" picture to provide a more in-depth look at the process.
  • Use markers to provide clarification and draw attention to certain areas.
    • Be sure to match the bullet points on the steps to the markers so employees can be sure of what bullet the marker corresponds to.


Want to make your work instructions more eye-catching and easier to understand? Great videos can help you do both of these things.

Recording Video

The video that you shoot will primarily be used to show instructions to your users, but they can also be a helpful tool for writing work instructions.

To ensure the most effective and efficient version of the process is shown in the video, ask your highest performing employee to complete the task while you record.

  • As they are completing the task, have them explain what they are doing.
    • This will help you later when you are writing the instructions.
  • Focus on the process, not the person.
    • Unless they're actors, people don't usually like being videotaped. Put the focus of the video on the process that the employee is performing instead of them. This will help them feel more comfortable in front of the camera, and also focuses on what really matters— the process.
  • Ask the employee additional questions about the process.
    • There can often be a lot more to a process than just its steps. Find out additional information, such as a tip or trick that the employee knows, that could really help your readers.

Writing Work Instructions Steps Using a Video

  • Watching through the video while you write the instructions will help you figure out the best way to document the process.
    • Document each step as the employee narrates the process.

One Comment

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