Are your staff a tad chaotic?

The way people behave in a business results from two things: leadership, and the business’s systems and processes. Good processes allow you to manage your brand – everything goes out to a given standard, the phone is always answered the same way, sales enquires are followed up methodically.

However, most businesses run chaotically; their processes have usually grown organically. When someone leaves, all that knowledge vanishes with them, leaving the business vulnerable, often having to start that process from scratch.

People often say to me, ‘Well, Richard Branson doesn’t have processes. He’s an entrepreneur!’ Great businesses have great people with good habits. I suspect habit drives the way Richard Branson operates. Oh, but what great habits! Written processes are the embryos of good habits.

When your people get so efficient that they can throw away the ‘manual’, you’ll find two things happen. They start to focus on the job or the person they are relating to, not on how to do a given task. They also start finding ways to cut corners, speed things up, do things cheaper. This is innovation, and innovative businesses always out-perform stale businesses.

So when you have trouble containing your rage at how a member of your team has failed to carry out basic tasks, consider your own business processes. Are they written down somewhere?

Top tips

  • Identify a key frustration in your business.
  • Give the process you are about to create a name that means something to everyone. What are you doing?
  • Outline why you are doing it so people understand there is a rationale behind the process.
  • Ask your people to help write the steps. (If it is theirs, they will accept it more readily.) So how will you do it? Who must to what, in what order, to what standard, when and how often? How will they know when they have done a good enough job?
  • Identify the resources this process needs, and create them if necessary. This might include templates, forms, sample reports, standard emails, FAQs and so on.
  • Train your people.
  • Monitor your people until the process starts to become a habit.
  • Meanwhile, start work on your next key frustration.

Make your business Blaze Ahead.