Are you having a hard time retaining employees? If so, one thing you may not have considered is the degree to which obsolete or excessive processes are stifling creativity and affecting employee engagement. With 43% of respondents on a Dec. 2021 Randstad survey reporting that they are looking to change jobs in the coming year, keeping your top performers in a diminishing talent pool is key. Performance and sales thought leader Shawn Casemore shares insights on why every business should look to make their business processes agile and how you can involve your team in the process.
1. Processes provide a set guide on how to perform business functions, to what extent should that guide be followed?
Processes should be seen as dynamic, not static. Their objective is to help with training, and to create consistent approaches to important activities. In my experience this isn’t how they are viewed – they either exist and are considered tools for reprimanding those who make errors, or they don’t exist at all.
Early in my career, I worked for a company that was highly regulated. There were, at the time, over 2000 procedures in existence, many of which employees were expected to be aware of (which is ludicrous). Instead of overwhelming employees with the sheer volume of procedures or rigid expectations, consider how you are onboarding, developing, and mentoring your employees. Everyone absorbs information in difference ways, so written procedures often aren’t effective.
2. Re-evaluating processes can be a big overhaul – especially for large teams – how can you involve your employees to ensure it is as seamless as possible?
Re-writing or revising procedures is NOT something you should have a specific department complete (Quality Assurance for example). Although this can create consistency in formatting, there is absolutely no ownership by the employees. Instead, have your employees work in small teams to evaluate the accuracy and effectiveness of procedures, then have them restructure and revise. Give them a template to follow (to create consistency) but give them the freedom to develop the process as they see fit. You’ll begin to see there’s a level of buy-in that occurs, because it is now ‘their process’ not a set guide somebody else wrote.
3. If you guide yourself by the manta, ‘there’s always room for improvement’ could you be losing sight of your business capabilities and potentially cause chaos?
I don’t believe so. The goal of any business is to consistently improve, particularly considering that our buyers and customers’ expectations continue to evolve. Instead, think about how to make your onboard, training and procedures dynamic and interesting. I’ve never been a fan of writing out a procedure as a step-by-step guide, as it limits creativity. Instead, highlight important aspects of a task or area, then use other more interesting resources to portray the steps and to support learning. This allows you to avoid constantly re-writing procedures, and instead use interesting ways to share change and improvement with employees that is engaging.
Shawn Casemore is an expert on sales, business strategy and growth, who works directly with companies and their leaders for breakthrough strategies in performance. Shawn has worked with Fortune 500 companies such as CN Rail, Tim Horton’s, and Pepsi Co, however he invests the majority of his time working with some of the fastest growing and dynamic mid-market companies, including Bellwyck Packaging, Gerson and Gerson Incorporated and Saje Natural Wellness. Shawn is well-versed to offer insights on how to build winning strategies through the intelligence of well-managed teams. Curious to learn more about Shawn? Visit his website, which features numerous insights, resources and more about his upcoming book due Summer 2022 – ‘The Unstoppable Sales Machine‘.
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