Great systems and processes can be life changing for you, your team and your business but if not managed correctly they can quickly become more of a hindrance than a benefit.
They are implemented to ensure efficiency, accountability and flow in the workplace. They are there to make life easier, to improve communication in the team, to ensure that everyone is on the same page, to streamline activities and to ensure that everyone makes the very best use of their time.
Let’s be honest without a system or guidelines in place it is highly likely that the team is unsure of what to work on first and before you know it, unproductivity is rife and precious time is being wasted. Crafting a specific and deliberate system can give your team both the boost and the structure they need to be the best they can possibly be.
Before you begin planning your perfect system or process – there are 5 key human characteristics and possible pitfalls to keep in mind:
- People take time to adapt to new systems because they inherently don’t like change
- Creative people are not fond of rules and processes
- People don’t want to be caught out or made to look bad by a system
- People often find systems and processes boring
- People are inclined to be lazy and new systems and processes often seem like more work
Never fear, it still can be done! Here are 10 guidelines on how to ensure that your systems and processes are simple, easy to use and really do work for you and your team:
1. Be transparent
Make sure each member of your team understands the specific role they play and how they contribute to the company’s bigger picture. This will go a long way in ensuring they are as motivated, energised and productive as possible.
2. Encourage your team to take part and speak up
Make sure that every team member feels heard and is empowered to contribute feedback and ideas on daily ways of working.
3. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.
It is always better to communicate too much rather than too little. Try to make sure everyone is on the same page with how to communicate and which platform is best for what i.e. phone, email, SMS, Skype, Slack or a good old-fashioned meeting.
4. Set goals and deliverables
These goals should have positive end results for the business as a whole and should have specific people assigned to each one. Deliverables should be communicated in as much detail as possible, with the output explained fully and a defined, immovable deadline.
5. Define the roles within your team
Make sure everyone knows who is responsible for what, that there is 100% accountability across the board and no room for stepping on toes.
6. Lead by example
Use your systems and processes, as you would like your team to. Make it a habit and don’t take shortcuts.Remember if it isn’t working for you it probably isn’t working for your team.
7. Check in and adapt when necessary
Systems and processes are a fluid part of a business and are by no means “stuck in stone.” If it’s clear that something isn’t working, change it.
8. Use the method that works best for you and your team
Don’t worry about what other companies and competitors are using, every team is unique and you will know what is best for yours.
9. Create a happy and fun working environment
Systems and processes are there to make things easier, they are not there to dull the mood, keep people in check or make you seem like a micro-manager.
10. Keep it simple
Systems and processes are meant to help the team become more efficient and productive, the minute they become too complicated they are ineffective.
We hope that these tips are helpful. Implementing systems and processes is never easy but it’s almost always worth it. So don’t give up, and please let us know if there’s anything we can help with.