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Employees Not Following New Process

Submitted by  on August 2nd, 2012

Business woman writing process map on wallYour team has just spent a lot of time and resources on developing and rolling out a new customer invoicing and tracking process. Three months later, you are finding that the Accounts Officers are not following the new instructions. What went wrong?

Here are two places where you can look to find an answer. The first tip to getting employees to follow a new process is to engage your frontline managers in the design process right from the start. It can be difficult to get frontline managers on board.

So, explain to them the benefits they will experience with a new, streamlined process. Get them to help with scoping the project and selecting project team members. Then keep them involved throughout with gathering progress reports, ensuring the smooth functioning of the team, and so on.

At the same time, you don’t want frontline managers taking over the project as the “process experts”. The idea is to tap into the knowledge and experience of your frontline employees. By getting them involved in the process mapping and redesign, you are getting them engaged in improving workflows. Find out more by reading my article on engaging employees in mapping business processes.

The second tip is to ensure a smooth delivery mechanism for the finally approved process documents. With my clients, we typically use the document management system that is resident in that organization. Why reinvent the wheel? In one case, I used their proprietary document management system for version control and distribution. In another, our team developed a document management application that tacked on to the company’s database back end.

Whatever you do, do not use email as the means of delivering information about new process steps. This is a recipe for disaster as emails go to the bottom of the pile or are deleted or… All modern quality management systems have a document management module that will do the job. If yours is a very small organization, even a spreadsheet or simple database will do. Now that you have found out why workers are dragging their feet, it’s time to do something about it!

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Posted in Communication, Processes | Comments (0)

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