steps to successful process
What is important when new colleagues are being trained in a company, someone changes departments or you are stressed by having to replace a colleague on vacation?
Correct: Good documentation!
Documentation is more than just a piece of paper on a pinboard: it should be understandable, accessible, recognizable to everyone, and above all: always up-to-date.
It is best if you involve the people who are responsible for coping with the day-to-day running of the company: Your employees!
Documentation and the daily reality
Let’s suppose you have good documentation. It is understandable, accessible and up-to-date.
But the exciting question is: Is it also used in everyday life?
Put it to the test, go through the departments and compare documentation and reality. And also see how quickly changes are implemented to solve any problems restricting their progress.
Form a team that makes suggestions for a working system and is responsible for constantly updating the documentation. You will see how quickly the motivation of your employees increases as well as the quality of their work.
MAKING USE OF THE POTENTIAL OF THE EMPLOYEES
The employees and their motivation to work decides a success of your company. The best product is useless if the employees are demotivated or uninterested in supporting customers.
When did you last ask how satisfied your employees are and what could be improved?
There are many ways to find this out.
Why don’t you simply arrange an ideas competition – and the best idea will be awarded and above all: implemented!
HOW DOES EVERYTHING COME TOGETHER?
The employees among themselves, the manager, different departments – all have information for each other.
But how does everything come together – and preferably without losses?
There are different interfaces between the senders and receivers of information – analogue and digital, fast and slow, secure and insecure.
Which interfaces do you have? Have you chosen the ideal interfaces for you? And is the handling of them clearly and transparently regulated? No? We will support you!
AVOID MIX-UPS - REDUCE time wasting
Paperless office? Far from it!
But every piece of paper in the overflowing rubbish bin is a waste of time, a source of frustration and demotivation, fuelled by unclear responsibilities, missing or non-compliant documentation and incomplete or missing information.
In comparison, easily acquirable documentation helps to prevent undocumented access: many employees doing something only because “it has always been done like this” – even if it is contrary to the official documentation.
Processes are chains of activities that begin with a start and end with a result.
They must either be well documented – or automated.
For analysis, large processes should be divided into useful smaller sub-processes. There is no rule for how deeply you divide them.
From the process : “Incoming order”, “Office”, “Patent application” become ( for example defined by department ) sub-processes like: “Incoming order”, “Incoming mail”, “File attachment”, “Creation of a file”, “Secretarial staff ” and “Order to attorney”.
Now it is best if you decide for yourself which processes can be automated, what makes sense as a unit and which interfaces you can use between processes.
DOCUMENTATION AND TARGET GROUP AUDIENCE
Employees from the mail department, patent attorney secretaries, accounting, IT, management or lawyers: Everyone speaks different “languages”, everyone knows the processes in the company well – as long as they are in their own department.
Therefore documentation should either be written by the employees of a specific departement themselves or by people, who are familiar with them. The best practical test of a documentation is how easily every new employee adapts to the system!
It is important that documentation is written for the company itself or its employees – not for external audits. Because then it becomes incomprehensible and worthless.
AUDITS - HOW YOU BECOME A PROFIT
Audits (=certifications) should indicate trustworthiness and competence to the customer.
However, if you understand them like an exam that you have to pass with an “A*” to make an impression, this is a very expensive advertising measure.
Audits should enable you to take a non-bias look at your company with the advice of an independent expert and see where there is potential for improvement.
So take this opportunity to present how it “really” works for you – and make use of any tips to help improve the company.
Write the documentation only for your employees – for the examiner, simply write a table of contents so that the way around can be easily navigated.
That way, every audit gets you further!
SHARING KNOWLEDGE HOLDS GREATER VALUE
Many employees are afraid of sharing information – because they are anxious of losing their value in the company.
The world is full of people who have died believing they are invaluable… but the planet keeps spinning!
Emphasize with your employees that their own competence in creating documentation increases, because many things are revised and reviewed or clarified for the first time.
Explain that nobody becomes competent by having documentation – instead, everyone must first acquire the knowledge and then practice and apply it.
And finally: when customers are satisfied, because a qualified specialist is always available, regardless of holidays or illness, job stability increases for all!
HOW INSPIERED ARE YOUR EMLOYEES?
Nobody can be motivated to work for money alone – at least not with their full commitment.
If you want to empower your employees to do more than the minimum, give them a vision.
To do this, you first have to decide what you personally want to achieve with your company, your product and something that is more than just reaching sales targets.
Why did you get up this morning and drive to the company?
And when you have found your purpose, your vision, communicate this as simply as possible to all employees, everyone in the whole company should be able to understand your vision.
And divide the log and distant journey into small stages and goals – which you can then celebrate with your employees as you reach them.
You are proud of your employees – make sure that the employees are proud to work for you!