There’s a misnomer that once you’ve rolled out your newly improved processes you’re done. You can now wash your hands of them.
But as I always say, operations is designed to be indefinite. It never ends.
Building accountability in process improvement is the same. It requires continually listening to your employees until you have a deep understanding of what their needs are so you can serve them better.
In the previous two blogs, we talked about how setting realistic expectations and positively reinforcing changes are important in building accountability. This time we’ll discuss how listening and serving your people better can help in making them own your processes.
Listening to gaps in understanding
It is natural for people not to readily accept and adapt to changes. As a little bit more time passes since the roll-out of your improvements, you can observe more, and then listen more to what their needs are.
One of your jobs as a leader is to listen and take feedback from the people who are going through the process.
What are their challenges? What kind of support do they need?
They may say,
“We don’t have this tool.”
“We don’t have this template.”
“We don’t have this training.”
Serving your people, giving them the support they need to succeed
Provide your employees with what they need to successfully embrace process improvements, whether it be additional training, providing them a template, a script, or a tool. Now that they have the support they asked for. Observe. Are they still struggling to keep your processes?
Continue to ask why. You just have to continue taking feedback even if it takes more than five times until you get to the root cause of the problem.
What you are doing is deeply understanding your people and serving them better. You’ll slowly get to the truth of what their needs are.
They are probably going to have slightly different needs. And it’s going to take time to understand what those are and serve them until you see the whole engine moving one way.
What will make your process improvements most successful is that they come from you. They are unique to the people you serve.
You are not copying what you see another company is doing. You are actually listening to people and then seeing what would serve them best. This is how you build true accountability.
In love and respect,