3 Clear Signs That Your Job Is Going to Be Harder Than It Needs to Be
Have you ever loved a job but hated that the work was so much harder than it needed to be? Was it an environment where even the simplest tasks provoked some kind of anxiety? Have you ever worked for an employer that was constantly unavailable or too busy? Did these things result in you feeling unsupported in your role or burnt out? Did they lead to poor job performance… or worse?
Well, here’s the good news… more often than not the aforementioned issues are not “people issues”. In other words, the job is tougher than it needs to be but not on purpose, many times those issues are simply a byproduct of poor processes and systems. Fortunately, almost any issue in the workplace can be improved. Oftentimes that means helping key decision makers get out of their own (and at times everyone else’s) way of progress so they are better able to assess the field and evaluate the players they are leading and their performances as they relate to the goals and objectives of the organization.
Now, as key decision makers I’m sure you’ve all created the perfect relationship between managing (delegating efficiently without micromanaging while still making yourself available to your people) and strengthening your organizations processes and systems to help optimize the potential of your human capital. Right? Well, if not the chances are you’re making your job and your people’s jobs much harder than they need to be.
Here Are the Signs (Each With 3 Workable/Suggestible Solutions):
1. Outdated Processes (or There Are None at All)
The operational processes of a business are what drives the business itself. If you’ve ever found yourself working within a business using outdated processes or even worse there were no processes at all and you were expected to “figure it out” all while being “assessed” in a way that wasn’t even measurable… I feel your pain.
Outdated or a lack of processes can create a void where conflicts, mistakes, and disasters all go to hang out. When clear and effective processes are in place it streamlines the business and has the ability to reverse poor performance and prevent lost revenue.
The Solution: Take Time to Make Time
Rethink the way important work (or tasks that cause the most conflict) get done.
Learn which processes can be outsourced or created/re-engineered. The people who are operating the processes should be responsible for them. They should be empowered to document and update the processes as well as keep their eyes and ears open for optimization and/or automation opportunities. (Controlled by creating defined periods of experimentation.*)
Figure out the best ways to record/update (written, drawings, maps, video, etc.), store (cloud-based) and share your businesses processes with your organization then get it done!
2. "It was good enough for me ..."
The inability to change and adapt to a changing business landscape has been the root cause of businesses failing for centuries! Have you ever held a job where the key decision makers thought “trial by fire” was the process and procedures guide? Unfortunately, this is pretty common – even if it isn’t being done overtly. Many business owners and key decision makers have a tendency to forget they may have a different scope of knowledge and experiences than their employees, and withholding necessary information (intentionally or unintentionally) will not only make their employees’ jobs harder, it will make them nearly impossible.
The “it was good enough for me” approach to getting the best out of people may also lead to the creation of a great amount of indecision, poor decision making and analysis paralysis — all things that will sink a business. If you have decisions to make at work, and you spend time agonizing over finding the very best choice in a situation, it’s probably a processes and systems issue.
The Solution: Good Enough Is Closer to Failure Than Success
Gain a thorough understanding of process flows and gain clarity of your systems and the parts inside the system that work together to make them function. As a leader or employee, this knowledge is valuable for sustainable processes creation.
Determine the best way to train and develop employees, and then make it happen. Any bad experiences should help to shape a more positive approach.
Remove performance hurdles and shrink the amount of “acceptable risk” within the business. Outdated processes area breeding ground for habitual mistakes and oversights.
3. Lack of Accountability
Almost everyone responsible for making any business work, at some point finds themselves stuck between “a rock”, employees or decision makers and a "hard place" customers, vendors, investors, etc. and that is why accountability (and transparency) is so important. It’s about getting the most out of what you have through the creation of adequate and effective communication practices and processes. When your employees can’t find you to ask questions or ask for input, there should be policies and procedures in place so that they do not have to struggle on their own or deal with situations they may not be prepared for.
A low accountability environment creates low morale, unrealistic expectations, and declining engagement. To close the gap between desired results and the actual outcomes of team-wide or organization-wide results leaders need to make their people feel like they are a part of something where responsibility is shared, efforts are recognized and they are equipped with all of the tools to get their jobs done at a high level.
The Solution: All for One…
Employees often have no idea if they’re making a contribution or not -- boost your teams’ motivation and foster employee alignment with company goals by connecting them (and their roles) directly to the bottom-line-results and success of the company.
Create systems and processes that allows for the easy identification of when something goes wrong, its location, how it happened, etc. This allows companies to resolve and find solutions to emergent situations or issues quicker and more effectively.
Define (or redefine) roles & responsibilities for team members based on the systems and process creation. After all, you can’t expect people to be accountable for what they don’t know they’re supposed to be accountable for. Take questions, make sure everyone is on the same page and is bought in.
Opportunities 2 Serve helps small business owners build scalable processes and systems that help reduce inefficiencies, human error oversights, and allows them to focus on growth and improving business results. If you have a topic you would like me to cover or a question you would like answered then feel free to shoot me an email @ firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from you.