Every company has processes that need to be followed, no matter what industry they are in. For a growing business clear processes are essential. Processes can be anything from how a product is made or sold, to customer service and more.
The problem with running any business is that there are always going to be some things that go wrong at some point. What you want to do is minimize these problems by implementing systems and procedures so everyone knows the process for whatever it is they’re doing. So if you really want your business operations to run as smoothly as possible then you should implement the following five steps:
Create a Culture Of Trust
One of the biggest reasons processes fail is because employees simply do not trust that what they are doing will work. This lack of trust comes from a lack of transparency in the business. Asking employees to follow processes if they don’t know why or how the process works is essentially asking them to do something blindly.
Processes don’t work if people don’t believe in them and part of creating a culture of trust is making your employees feel like they can be themselves and talk with you about any problems they might see with the processes in place. That’s why you should build trust with your workers.
Train Employees To Fix Issues Themselves
If you don’t want to write everything down, the other alternative is to train your employees so they know exactly how to fix or address issues should they come up. You can do this by having them go through any issues that come up again and again until they are second nature. Specialists, including an IT support company should be hired in case there are complex matters your employees can’t fix. Showing them multiple examples gives them more experience in case something similar happens which makes them less likely to do it incorrectly.
Document The Process
After you have implemented a process, the next thing you need to do is document it so everyone knows the steps. You should also include any exceptions that can occur and how they will be handled. In this way, when someone comes across an issue with the process, all they have to do is go back and look at how it was documented.
This saves time from having to sit down and discuss every issue that arises with management when there might not even be a problem at all. It also saves money because your employees won’t feel like they are wasting their time coming up with a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist or going over something again and again when everyone already knows how to do it.
Every process should have an owner and everyone who deals with the process needs to know who it is so they can go to them for any issues they may come across. You don’t want anyone dealing with a process they think has no one in charge of it and you also don’t want everyone thinking that another department is responsible for making sure the process works when in fact, their department is responsible for doing this.
By finding one person or group of people to handle each step, not only will you see fewer problems but your business will operate more seamlessly too. There would be easy networking among colleagues and their superiors. Basically, everybody wins.
Monitor The Process
After you’ve assigned owners and documented your processes, the next step is to monitor them. This doesn’t mean checking in every five minutes but instead means maybe reviewing some things at the end of each day or on a weekly basis. You don’t want to be someone who micromanages their employees but at the same time, you do want to make sure everyone is following your company’s processes and that they are getting done correctly.
The reason why this is so important is that you can catch any problems early before they become huge issues and you also give your employees the confidence that not only will you make sure they are doing their job right but other people in charge of other processes will do a good job too. This creates a level of trust that is difficult to beat and ensures that no one is trying to cut corners while still making sure all of your work gets done on time and without errors. And more importantly, it ensures that you won’t have to deal with problems that come up later because you’ll be looking for them early.
Limit The Number Of Processes
If you don’t have a process for something but need to get it done, go ahead and implement one. But if there are simply too many processes being implemented, it can create more problems than effectively dealing with the issue. This especially becomes an issue when employees need to keep track of all these different steps so they can make sure things are getting done correctly.
Having too many procedures in place creates not only confusion but also stress throughout your company because everyone will feel like there is no way they can do everything correctly if there are too many steps involved. This lack of trust then trickles down to every department of your business which will prevent your employees from doing their best work and therefore preventing you from getting the most out of them.
Limit The Amount Of Documentation
There is a time and place for documentation, but constantly putting things into writing isn’t always one of them. There are good reasons to write everything down, including having it as proof that something occurred or occurred correctly if there is ever an issue with it in the future.
But most of what you do on a daily basis shouldn’t be written down unless absolutely necessary. A lot of people feel like they need to put everything they do into words because what happens if this turns into an important part of history?
You also want to encourage everyone in your company, including managers and owners, to step in if there is an issue instead of just letting someone else handle it. This ensures that every person knows how each process works no matter their job title and therefore prevents downtime due to someone not knowing how a certain process works.
It’s important to make sure your business processes are running smoothly. The more detailed and complicated they are, the more difficult it is for employees to follow them correctly. That’s why there should be a balance between too many procedures in place but also not enough documentation on how each process works.