Empowering your team to build, document, and follow processes can be an uphill climb. There are many reasons for a business owner or CEO to document processes, including:
1. Building a scalable business.
2. Identifying where automation is appropriate.
3. Efficiency in hiring and training.
4. Propagating success throughout the business.
However, employees might see building processes as a threat. They may believe that a CEO is:
a. Trying to make them easier to replace.
b. Turning their job into something automated.
c. Using their hard-won knowledge to make more profits that the employee will not see.
d. It’s one more thing to do on an already overflowing plate.
This push-pull can make process documentation almost impossible – and it may cause employees to refuse to follow processes even if they are established.
This sounds insurmountable, doesn’t it?
Fortunately, this challenge has been solved again and again by both business leaders and their teams. Recently Business Success Consulting Group CEO Adi Klevit spoke with Mike Krass, Owner of MKG Marketing about this challenge in particular. Here is some of the information they discussed in that interview:
Find out how processes would empower your team
The fact is that processes benefit employees as well as employers. They make employee jobs easier to perform and often reduce the amount of repetitive, automatable actions. This makes the jobs themselves more engaging and interesting for employees.
However, before touting the benefits of processes, it’s vital to find out why employees might like to document their process.
Here is an example directly from Business Success Consulting Group’s CEO, Adi Klevit. A few years ago, a business owner had difficulty getting his sales manager on board with process documentation. The company owner had all kinds of reasons for wanting process documentation. Still, it wasn’t until he sat down with his sales manager and asked how documentation could benefit them that he discovered:
a. The sales manager was incredibly successful because he was busy doing his job. He didn’t have time to document processes.
b. There was no benefit that the sales manager could see – his job would remain the same, and he’d be just as busy whether he documented processes or not.
c. The sales manager was operating at capacity. He’d need a bigger team and/or an assistant to benefit from documented processes.
When the business owner learned this information, everything clicked. The sales manager did not share his priorities. The sales manager had his own busy day and his own priorities. So, what was the business owner to do?
What he did benefited both the business and the sales manager. He informed the manager that once proceses were documented, they’d hire the sales manager an assistant who could implement the processes and reduce the manager’s overflowing workload.
Processes got documented, an assistant was hired, and the company expanded as a result.
This demonstrates why one must find how processes will benefit employees – not just the company as a whole. Perhaps documentation will reduce the training time for new hires, which means that busy employees can take training out of their workdays. Implementing and following processes might be the key to onboarding new software that automates a portion of an individual’s job, leaving the interesting and engaging work to the expert employee you’ve hired.
There are many reasons for employees to want process documentation. You just need to find out the particular “why” for those valuable employees you want to empower.
Five Reasons Why Process Documentation Benefits Employees
Here are five benefits of process documentation that may help you initiate a conversation with employees:
- It’s easier to manage teams with consistent and clear processes.
- Good work will be easier to perform as you will learn the best method for consistently excellent performance.
- You will be less stressed because you will have one right way to do things, cutting down on overwork.
- Clearly documented and implemented processes encourage great teamwork and collaboration, along with a better understanding of one another.
- Having your processes established will make taking vacations much easier as the processes are documented, and anyone who is taking on your responsibilities while you are away can study them and perform them.
Additional process documentation strategies
The above listed strategy mainly focuses on getting buy-in from your team. This is vital as you cannot build, document, and implement processes in a vacuum. Once you’ve gotten that buy-in, consider the following strategies to make documentation easier:
Use different media for documentation
Record videos, take audio recordings, make notes, take screenshots. Utilizing a variety of methods can make documentation easier for you and your team. Additionally, providing different media can engage senses differently, making the processes easier to learn.
Lean into mistakes
You and your team will make mistakes. You will find better ways to do things and need to revise processes to reflect improved methodology. Lean into your mistakes so your team sees that even an expert can improve and learn. This also makes it less daunting for team members to admit if they made an error.
Build systems around regular tasks
You need processes for:
- Tasks that are completed regularly (daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly).
- Training new hires or team members helping in new areas.
- Identifying which job titles are responsible for the execution of particular tasks or entire processes.
Build a centralized, accessible location for all processes
Business systems should not be hidden in a paper binder. They need to be accessible for:
- Easy reference
- Daily use
- Regular updates
Are you ready to empower your team and improve your business by implementing processes? Get started today! Schedule a free initial consultation with the experts at Business Success Consulting Group.