You know what happens when everyone runs to the starboard side of the sailboat, right? The sailboat starts to lean that way, and if it leans too far it can tip right over. Based upon your talents, training, interests, and prior experience, you lean when you run your business. You lean toward the people side OR concentrate on process, process, process. Both are important in your ability to grow your business, and for best results you need to be actively managing the people side AND the process side.
The value of effective, efficient processes
Sometimes when it seems like your team has a hard time getting it right, it’s not the team members that are causing the problem. J. Edwards Deming, the father of the quality movement, posited that 85-97 percent of problems are caused by management. Yes, that’s you. That’s because management owns the processes.
Your staff might be leaping tall buildings in a single bound just to get their daily work done if your processes are
- slow, and
- contain too many steps and hand-offs
Bad processes (or no real consistent process at all) cost time, scrap, rework and warranty, and sometimes employee and client turnover. Each of these costs has a dollar value associated with it. The less visible costs are in the form of stress and poor morale. Bad processes could be harming your company’s reputation and leaving an opening for competitors to steal market share. Conversely, improved, streamlined processes can help to fund your business’s growth by reducing costs. And industry-leading processes can help you capture market share by serving customers faster and better.
Focusing on the people
Can you think of another business asset that has a bigger potential to appreciate in value than your people? They become more and more valuable over time if you
- tool them up with relevant training,
- give them elbow room and decision making authority to do their jobs, and
- provide fair compensation and rewards and recognition.
You as the leader own the company culture – the written and unwritten rules about how people interact with one another and how the job gets done for customers. You determine how much you’re going to “read them in” to help the business achieve its goals. When you successfully engage them, your team members hold the potential to create performance breakthroughs for your business.
Process KPIs (Key Performance Indicators
- Capacity utilization rate
- Gross profit margin
- Order fulfillment cycle time
- Employee Net Promoter Score – eNPS
- Average employee tenure
- Salary competitiveness ratio
- Employee engagement level
If the KPIs lean heavily or are only process oriented, the company demonstrates that it values its people only as objects with the purpose of generating output. This is an approach that can kill the golden goose as the best people realize that they are being objectified and choose to leave the business. If, on the other hand, the business keeps nonperforming people on board, it will have difficulty transcending its current level of performance.
The job isn’t about keeping pace
The job isn’t about keeping pace with the competition – it’s about getting out in front. Your business needs engaged and well-trained people to help you do this AND well-oiled processes that minimize costs while maximizing quality and speed.
Gazelles coaches help you maintain the people-process balance through their Four Decisions growth framework. You know the answers – your Gazelles coach simply makes sure you’re asking the right questions. Contact us by clicking HERE for more info.