PROCESSES SHOULD BE SIMPLE AND EXECUTABLE
Do you have some broken processes…. So let me guess you created more processes to fix your broken ones?….aaaahhhhhh!
For those of us who love the crazy world of operations management, we know that it can often be viewed as juggling multiple glass balls in the air everyday! In the home remodeling industry, specifically operations management, this equates to the many moving parts on a day to day basis. The ultimate goal is to keep the glass balls in the air and if one happens to fall, not to have it break! The biggest mistake I see organizations make (and I have even been guilty of it myself) is creating additional processes because the initial process was not effective, not being executed properly, or not adopted fully within the organization. Usually it is some combination of these three. These critical mistakes within operations management result in multiple balls being dropped and glass all over the floor!
“It wasn’t an effective process from the beginning”, you say to yourself as an operations leader. “Who created this process” is often what staff members are saying to themselves or among each other. “Nobody even asked me how this is done and it’s missing a bunch of necessary steps,” they tend to mumble as they ignore the new process and go back to “what they know works”! So, let’s step into the mindset that if a process is created with all contributors involved, it will likely be more effective and it will have staff buy-in because they assisted in creating it. Having staff buy-in also increases the chances of it being executed with integrity across the board!
If you immediately thought to yourself, “I have no problem with this but worry about having an inclusive environment with my team when creating processes”, then my question to you is, do you have the right A-Team in place to create the culture necessary for growth? That will have to be a conversation for another day! The simple fact is that inclusion is the key to creating successful and productive processes. Your team knows the job they do daily and that is something you need to respect, capitalize on and let SHINE through inclusion!
There are many ways to have inclusion within your team to gather the needed info, test the processes, and implement with full buy-in. Here are a few examples:
Introduce the idea of a change or the new process to the group as a whole with an exciting kick off meeting. Even if you don’t have the finalized changes yet, the excitement being built around changes to come is also very important. Secret, siloed meetings are the best way to build a negative mindset and manifested issues.
(1) The tone of this kick off is stern, positive and clear that the changes to come will not be optional, so let’s get ready!
(2) Make it fun, have a continental breakfast or working lunch which can include a fun icebreaker warm up!
(3) Allow your staff to be human and express fears of the change, but don’t allow them to hijack your meeting! Note: I never hold a team meeting without a parking lot board ready and waiting (with a little bit of the mamma side-eye when they try the hijack move on me).
(4) Build work groups for large changes: Send out a short survey that each team member can complete individually in order to communicate which duties they handle, ensuring that proper work groups are built for input on the process.
(5) Have team members document and submit their current process to ensure no steps are missed
(6) Group work sessions are great for what I like to call “reality vs. wish list mapping of the new process”. This is where you map out the new process and have the discussions of “It sounds good but does it really fit and make sense of what we are trying to accomplish with the change?
Again, these are just to name a few of the approaches than can be taken to launch a new and successful process! Keeping in mind our goal as leaders is to grow in all aspects of business we must remember that growth requires flexibility. The world we live in today is much different than the world of yesterday. Therefore, home improvement cultures and processes need to evolve and adapt to be better suited to modern times. I often find myself viewing things through the eyes of my young adult children to better understand the differences. Therefore, I am going to conclude this in using a phrase from my thirteen year old daughter, as her view often amazes me from the perspective of the youngest child with two older brothers. Often, they exclude her or pick on her and she reminds them that eventually they will need her (as they often do) by saying this simple phrase in response to their antics “that’s cool bro, later I want you to keep that same energy.” What she is saying is the 2020 version of “treat others how you want to be treated” or “what you put out into the universe is what you get back.” So remember leaders, if you don’t want to live with the broom out, cleaning glass up off the floor all the time, be inclusive with your processes and watch your team reward you by “keeping that same energy”!