In my experience, processes are discussed and debated expertly; however, many times, they fail in execution. It isn’t that the process is faulty; instead, it is process discipline and consistency that fails. So, I’ve included a few tips to successfully implement processes:
- Communicate and clarify – many times, it requires communicating a process many times before it is absorbed. In addition to repetition, varying types of communication and the use of examples aids communication success.
- Also communicate and clarify the required targets – it is not sufficient to communicate the process without communicating the objectives/ targets. For example, if the production efficiency target is 90% yet the team thinks 80% is the norm, the process could be perfectly understood and still not successful.
- Explain the whys – why is the process valuable to the company, department, other employees, etc? What occurs if the process breaks down? Why does it matter?
- Ask for input and suggestions – listen, respond to all input and suggestions, incorporate the ones that make sense to prioritize currently. Repeat
- Develop metrics to track progress – there is no use running a race if you do not understand where you are in relation to the finish line.
- Follow up – typically everyone has too many priorities and can become overwhelmed. It is important to follow up to make sure everyone understands the process, why it is important, the goals/ targets and how they are performing.
- Provide tools – if the process requires systems and/or tools, make sure the team not only has the tools, but has also been trained on the tools and has had an opportunity to provide feedback/ request changes required to succeed.
- Hold the team accountable – the team will perform far differently if they know they are accountable to deliver the process (not only accountable to their manager but to their teammates)
- Remember to recognize and reward success – although financial rewards must be tied to performance, there are many forms of rewards and recognition that can have significant impact without spending a penny. A simple thank you can go further than you can imagine.