Processes: Follow-up to the 3 P’s of BusinessPosted: November 3, 2015
You may recall from my last post that all successful businesses have three things in common: effective policies, procedures, and processes. Today, I’m going to focus on the third “P”of business – processes. What impact does having effective processes in place have on your business? By focusing on this element of the three P’s in particular, my aim is to help you understand the significance of having processes in place in your business, and reflect on the effectiveness of your current processes.
What does it take to complete a task? A process, you may remember, is the high-level overview of a task – the map that guides you from start to finish through the steps you need to take to reach your objective. When faced with a task, how does your business act? Any successful, efficient business will have clear processes in place, with clearly outlined steps, to deal with such situations.
What types of processes exist in your business? Are they clearly implemented and communicated? To give you a sense of what processes look like, I’ve detailed below some examples of the types of processes that you should have in place in your business.
Example #1: Onboarding
You’re probably already familiar with onboarding, whether it’s by name or in concept. Onboarding is the process through which new employees acquire the knowledge, skills, and behaviours to become effective organizational members.
Do you know what your newly hired employees want out of the onboarding process? Generally speaking, new employees want on-the-job training, a review of company policies and procedures, a company tour, equipment setup, and the availability of competent and approachable mentors. New employees want to learn how to do their job efficiently and start contributing in a meaningful way as soon as possible.
In those first few weeks, new employees form their opinion of your organization. This is why onboarding is so vital. It’s a proven fact that an effective onboarding process leads to higher job satisfaction, higher retention, better performance, greater organizational commitment, and a reduction in occupational stress.
Example #2: Exiting
When an employee resigns or is terminated from a position, a number of tasks must be performed to ensure a smooth transition. If you’ve ever left a position, think about the tasks that had to be performed, the assets that had to be returned. As a business, if you forget to perform any of these tasks, you’re opening yourself up to risk.
You should keep a checklist to be followed when an employee exits so you don’t forget anything crucial. Your checklist may include: an exit interview to gain insight on areas of improvement, collection of company property (laptop, smartphone, credit cards, keys), process outstanding payroll, and the removal of building, computer, and network access. Also ensure that you have the employee’s current address and phone number if they need to be reached.
A clear exit process is necessary for your organization both to protect your business and ensure that exiting employees leave with dignity.
Example #3: Financial
Your business needs financial processes to work smoothly and mitigate risk. Some examples of essential financial processes in your business may include: accounts payable/receivable, payroll and benefits, and budgeting. Financial processes must continue without major failure day by day to avoid financial chaos. Financial processes should be efficient and effective, align with your goals, utilize best practices, and minimize risk of fraud.
The Bottom Line
Put simply, to remain successful your business needs processes of many types. For essential tasks to be completed in a way that mitigates errors and risk, those occupying the top rungs of the organizational ladder must take process creation and optimization seriously.
What do essential processes look like in your business? Are they efficient, or could they use some work?