Processes are seen and perceived as a villain by employees. People want to get around to completing their work instead of getting stuck in processes. Viewed as either a bunch of red tape or an overtly meandering, never ending set of time-consuming steps, processes are dreaded by employees.
This is in contrast to the very purpose of having processes in place. Processes are meant to support both, the employee and the organization. For the organization, they are a way to keep the business organized and to maintain detailed and accurate accounts of different company activities. For the employee, processes must define a clearer path of doing things and make their lives easier.
Effective processes liberate employees. They provide a clear pathway to the employees in terms of work and help them not get bogged down. Processes can help reduce the hindrances in the workflow of employees. It is therefore necessary for the processes to be specifically designed to ease the workflow of employees instead of adding to the work burden.
Increasingly, globalized and boundaryless work environments mean people from different geographies and different teams are interacting and working with each other. This requires the processes to be designed in a way that can comprehensively impact all the employees and help increase their ability to interact and work together despite being in different geographical and time zones. It is important to avoid creating processes in a silo whereby only a particular team or group of people may benefit over the short term as it may not be great from a long-term perspective. It is also important that people understand why these processes are necessary and how they actually help their overall work performance.
It is not possible for businesses to completely rid themselves of unpredictable or sometimes even predictable bottlenecks. In order to be productive, a business leader must learn how to use the bottleneck to his or her team’s advantage. Efficient and effective use of the bottleneck can be guided by a clear set of processes to follow in that situation.
Another way to create clear and great processes is to identify the best practices in the organization’s workflow and convert them into habits. This can be achieved by creating a process flow which keeps the best practices as the guiding force. In this way, it would be easier to make efficiency a habit and not a choice.
For new managers and emerging leaders, doing a leadership in strategic management course would be beneficial for developing these skills.