Why Your Processes Are NOT Just More Red Tape

Posted by Sarah Becker • April 12, 2017

Getting past the misconceptions of your employees about all of the “red tape” you are making them endure is challenging, at times. As you strive to implement processes or systems that will automate and alleviate menial tasks, they perceive your efforts as forcing them to jump through more hoops. So, what do you do? How do you get them to see past the guidelines and envision the big picture?

Understand the Difference Between Red Tape and Successful Processes

The first hurdle you have to make it over to convince your employees that your systems are not just more time-consuming busy work is helping them to understand the difference between red tape and success processes.

The concept of red tape goes back hundreds of years ago when governments used red ribbons to bind important legal documents. It, eventually, came to be known as bureaucratic waste that causes a task to take considerably longer than required and rarely succeeds in meeting goals. The tasks may require a lot of unnecessary paperwork or a string of approvals from figureheads that really have no involvement in the task, at all.

The processes and systems you are trying to implement in your organization should have nothing in common with the age-old perception of red tape. The best way to encourage your employees to feel that your efforts are useful is to explain the purpose and strategy involved with the various steps.

Help them understand why each step of the process is helpful, how their involvement is critical and the level of success that can be achieved through the systemic tasks. By giving them the facts and background information to see the process from the outside, looking in, your employees will be much more likely to feel the effort to adapt is worthwhile.

What are the Requirements of an Effective Process?

While there are many types of processes and systems in the world (and, perhaps, in your company), there are four main things they have in common. They are:

    1. Your process must have a definite, clear goal. As an individual begins the steps within a process, he must be targeting a particular outcome. Perhaps, it’s a report, product or other end goal.
    2. The steps simplify the task. If the steps of the process are more complicated than the original task, itself, the process is ineffective. The steps should ensure accuracy and alleviate the tedious worry about the end goal. Sometimes, the steps will be automated after the initial input of data, such as with CRM tools or other software.
    3. The process should be duplicatable for future use. A process that can’t be applied repeatedly is not really a process. It should apply to all conditions for the end goal.
    4. The process must achieve the expected outcome. If the system fails to produce the desired report, product or other objective with less waste and decreased effort, you need to return to the drawing board and start with a new process.

Good Processes Provide Freedom and Creativity

When your employees spend lots of time troubleshooting systems or performing arduous, tedious tasks, they have no opportunities to brainstorm what “could be” for your company or organization. They lack time to work on extra projects that could promote your company. They are unable to focus on solutions to other problems faced by your company, as they are busy doing menial work that could be automated or sped up with a better routine.

Effective processes develop freedom and foster creativity. Far from the red tape your employees may first think of as processes are introduced, these new systems will free them up to avoid overtime, gain time with their families and feel more inspired at work.

I can help you develop good processes that can do this for your business. Contact Clear Simple Business today for more information!

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