If you know that your business is a system composed of many different subsystems in form of process that enables normal operations of the company, then you know that you need working procedures for each of the processes in place.
But, many times I have seen how entrepreneurs put high efforts in systematizing their company, creating and documenting all working procedures, but they are not used from the staff that need to use in order to bring results to the company. Simply, these entrepreneurs suffer to ensure that their staff will use already prepared working procedures.
So, how you can ensure that your staff use and will continue to use your working procedures? Let’s answer this question.
- As a first you need to have documented working procedures in your company. You can’t expect someone to use and implement specific procedure in his work if he doesn’t have something official in his hands as documented working procedure. Yes, as a first you will need to make documentations that will contain all working procedures. It is not matter if they are on hard copy paper, or stored on server in digital from. The more important is to be sure that they exist and are easily available to all staff who will need to use them. This is the first step you need to check if you want to start building commitment in your staff about your working procedures.
- You need to have procedure for using procedures. The next thing you need to use in order to increase commitment and responsibility level about working procedures in your staff members is to create special procedure about using the procedures. Probably sounds crazy idea, but believe me, this is something that will help much in your efforts to create stabile systematized company.
- Your working procedures need to be clear enough in order to become understandable and usable for your staff. Yes, you can’t expect that working procedures will be used and implemented regularly from your staff members if they are not clear enough in order to be understandable and usable. When you work on the creation of working procedures, have in mind that you will not implement them, but your staff will. Their level of education, experience, way of thinking and behavior is different from yours. So, if you want to ensure that your staff will use them, make them clear and understandable enough not for you, but for your staff.
- Include your staff in creating and approving working procedures related to their own work. In my practical experience individuals will accept something if they are included in planning and designing of that something. On the other side, the persons who work every day on implementation of working procedures are the persons who have high level knowledge about the needs and requirements of the processes that they manage and operate every day. Why not use them in order to create really powerful working procedures that will be used from your staff members?
- Ensure continuous improvements of your working procedures in order to be sure that your procedures really work. First-time created working procedure will not be perfect. That’s the fact. Sometimes the lack of the perfectionism can create resistance to change inside your staff members, so they will refuse to use these non-perfect working procedures. But, mixing this point in this list with the previous in order to start continuous improvement process of the procedures, they will quickly come close to perfect and will show to your staff that they really work and help them in theirs everyday tasks.
- Explain your staff that if something goes wrong and the specific procedure is followed, it’s not employee’s fault it’s because of bad procedure. If your staff know that when they are using working procedures correctly in the way how they are described, the possible mistakes will not be their responsibility, but procedure’s responsibility. On such a way they will be encouraged to use the procedures, and for each mistake will ask for improvements in order to not happen again the same mistake.
- Reward the staff members for their support in procedure improvements and their efforts for using the working procedure on everyday level. Create and implement a specific reward system that will encourage your staff members to use and improve working procedures. This will increase a high level of awareness about the importance of working procedures to the success of your company.