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Worst 5 Outcomes of Covering Up Bad Processes with Additional Employees

Process Improvement
February 09, 20223 min read

Bad processes can easily be mistaken for employee shortages. As systems fail to work well, it’s pretty common for employees to complain that they are overworked or unable to focus on their “real” duties due to focusing on an inefficient workflows. A standard response to the employee dissatisfaction is to hire more people to shoulder the load.

But, without delving into the problem to determine is your employees are truly overworked, you are only masking a problem that may become a bigger problem, in time.

Consider these worst 5 outcomes for adding employees, instead of solving bad processes:

  1. You will waste money. Recently, it was uncovered that the Pentagon has over $125 billion in bureaucratic waste, involving many unnecessary positions and employees. How did they get to that point? Many inefficient processes probably demanded the hire of new employees to make things run more “smoothly.” However, what has resulted is a gross display of waste. As you hire additional employees to cover up your own bad processes, you’ll spend funds on general overhead, wages and turnover costs, as you hire and rehire these employees. The money you lose to this process is a broken system, itself.

  2. Your knowledge base never improves. One might think that the more people you have working on projects would mean more knowledge would be applied to them. That’s rarely the case. Often, as more and more employees are hired, the knowledge base actually shrinks, as people only know small portions of their jobs. Their limitations are based on simplistic processes they are responsible for, excluding a broader sense of the company’s goals. And, because the overall, original process is broken, adding employees to the process just makes it worse and never fixes the system causing the original problems. 

  3. Quality will decrease. As you hire more employees who are working on a flawed system, there are more opportunities for error. Mistakes will be made, as training on a broken process can never be efficient. As an employer, you may hope that by adding people, the workload will lessen and give them better chances at success. But, if the process is flawed, no amount of “extra time” can give them improved odds for meeting quality control goals.

  4. The process will get worse. By not fixing the problem, in the first place, every employee you add to the mix is forced to try to do his job by working with a system that isn’t functioning successfully. Putting more people into the workflow will complicate the process, make it more cumbersome and waste a lot of people’s time. The flaw in the system will be amplified by every attempt to use it.

  5. You will waste time with hiring. Not only do you have a process that is seriously flawed, but you will also be wasting time with the hiring process. Employing new workers takes time: you have to advertise, vet and interview them. The time you are spending hiring new employees would be better applied to fixing the process problem.

Clear Simple Business is accustomed to helping businesses of all sizes overcome process complications and move on to success. Call Sarah and her team today for information about how they can help you!

Sarah Becker

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