As a CEO of a large organisation I knew the work procedures we were using weren’t the most efficient. We had a really strong culture of following our mature set of procedures. What we didn’t have was a culture of enhancing those procedures. As a leader you know that if it isn’t improving, it must be getting worse.
The question is how do you address that?
I tried challenging the team to find inefficiencies, even offering them rewards. But I knew there was still a good percentage of the 600 people team who at least wondered, “Why do we do it that way?”
My procedures were written and managed by people who were too comfortable with writing another procedure to address a particular error that had just occurred. That is the recipe for inefficiency. You can’t believe that if you send out a new procedure you change the way things are done.
You achieve great efficiencies if you have great procedures. So how do you make them “great procedures” and how can you make sure everybody is following them?
Use a quality knowledge management system to help tackle these challenges.
- A good knowledge management system ensures staff only use the most up to date procedure (and you can do quizzes to make sure they are.)
- Make sure there’s an owner for each procedure and an easy to use feedback mechanism to allow the people who are performing the procedures, on the front line, to provide feedback on those procedures.
- And, of course, ensure the system tracks that the feedback is responded to in a professional and timely manner.
Some organisations include the provision of feedback in their reward and recognition programs and have achieved efficiencies of up to 30%. Not only is that a lot of money to the bottom line, it also means happier customers who know they’re dealing with an efficient, professional organisation.
How does your business make sure that procedures are as efficient as possible?