Organizations often focus on reducing costs and increasing profitability and efficiency when designing a process. In short, it’s all about what the company can gain from the process, even to the detriment of the people who are actually going through the process.
Here are ways your processes are hurting your employees:
Treating operations like robots
We want to believe our operations are like robots. We think that technology can solve process inefficiencies and speed up and simplify operations. But technology is just a tool. It’s the people behind the processes who make things happen. It’s always the operation with the support of tech.
Introducing new technology to poor processes will only magnify the existing problems. Additionally, adding new technology without first addressing the underlying problems will only put additional pressure on people and slow things down. Before adding tech, you have to streamline your processes first. From my experience in leading companies in process improvement, companies can solve operation problems without spending money or adding new technology.
Employees wearing multiple hats
While many people love variety in their daily tasks, you don’t want your employees to wear many hats at work. While there may be talented employees who can quickly adapt to doing things outside their job description, it’s not sustainable. Doing a little bit of everything is chaos and can lead to burnout.
People want to know the specifics of their job and what they are accountable for. One of the reasons that people want to leave their jobs is they don’t know what they’re responsible for when their daily tasks consistently vary.
The discrepancy between the official process and what’s actually being done
When an account manager doesn’t do a process, or a salesperson doesn’t submit a form, it is not because they are deliberately not following the process. When asked why they do these things, people would often say they’ve always done it that way.
The problem is either there was a process that was too complex, so employees just improvised, or the process is outdated and doesn’t match the current situation. Therefore, your people have been adapting to continue getting things done despite the process rather than because of it.
Another possibility is that your people probably don’t know an official process even exists. It can be due to a problem in the onboarding process or poor training. When there is a variety of ways to do one task it can cause confusion, duplication of work, and even conflict.
Complex processes that affect employee performance
Does your company have processes that make employees jump through all sorts of hoops before they can get their work done?
People are forced to put their job on hold because they have no choice but to wait for several other tasks to be completed for them to move forward with a project. These complex processes that can affect performance can lead to frustration and are one of the reasons your employees go home and complain about their jobs.
It’s not possible to build strong processes without people. As I always say, a beautiful and well-designed process starts with how you improve the lives of the person going through the process itself.
How you build your organizational processes can make all the difference in whether your employees love or hate their jobs. Design processes that make them feel valued and excited to get to work. Processes that set your employees up to succeed in what they do.
In love and respect,