People Over Process: Put Your People First and Watch Your Processes Improve

A well-designed process always starts with how you improve the lives of the people experiencing the process, both the employee and the customer. The company then benefits as a result. 

People make it possible for a business to run. Some companies, however, still think that operations are like robots… but they aren’t. It’s the people behind the process, and it’s always operations with the support of tech. You might have a great process and wonder why it’s not being followed. You might have one of the best CRMs and wonder why it’s not working. 

Processes, systems, technology and other tools are usually not the problem. More often than not, it comes down to how you and your team are using them. The success of any tool or system depends on its users. This is why it’s important to always think about the human element first. 

People are more valuable than the processes themselves. Processes should first adapt to the needs of the people who are going to use them; it shouldn’t be the other way around. 

When you put people first, everybody wins.

Oftentimes organizations fail in process improvement because they think that this work is all about the benefit of the company. They want to cut costs and increase quality and efficiency without thoroughly thinking about their people first and how it affects them. 

Process improvement is not about the benefit of the company: it’s for the people behind the process. It’s about creating processes that empower and motivate people so that they can perform their job well. Better performance for employees means better service/product for customers, which in turn produces better results for the company. 

Empowering your employees increases their engagement. According to Gallup, organizations with highly engaged employees are 21% more profitable and 17% more productive than those with disengaged employees.

Process improvement begins with your people.

Processes are about people. This is why your employees should be the focus of your efforts for process improvement. Real and sustainable transformation comes when you introduce people to a new way of thinking and a culture around process. 

Your frontline people hold a wealth of knowledge because they are the ones who face the customers and execute your processes every day. They must have a voice and be a part of the conversation. While it may take process specialists to identify opportunities to increase efficiency and improve systems, the people who go through these processes provide valuable insight into the difference between theory and practice and where improvements can be implemented. 

Providing an engine for your employees to voice their opinions on how to make work better and turn their ideas into action should be at the heart of every process improvement. Aside from them being your best sources of information, contributing to the larger conversation will also make them feel valued. They are more motivated to do their best when they see how their individual efforts contribute to the success of the organization. According to research by the American Psychological Association (APA), 93% of employees who reported feeling valued said that they are motivated to perform their best at work.

A well-designed process is one that sets its everyday users up for success. When the people behind the process succeed, it creates a ripple effect that provides long-term benefits to the company. It creates happy employees who will keep your customers happy and loyal employees who will go above and beyond for their company to succeed. Your employees won’t want to work anywhere else, and you’ll continue to attract great talent as your company builds its reputation even more. 

“People over process” benefits everyone in the long run, as long as we use the tools to our advantage and put our people first. 

In love and respect,

Hilary Corna

Hilary Corna

Bestselling Author, Keynote Speaker, Podcast Host, Founder of the Human Way ™...

Hilary’s favorite title is HUMAN.


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I am starting a revolution. One business and one person at a time.



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