A ‘Winning’ Process: The Focal Point for Building a High-Growth Company
Partner & Director of Operations
If you are in a position to affect change in a company of any size – whether it be small, medium, or large – establishing the right processes is extremely important for success.
In the previous article, we have talked about the importance of an interview when recruiting. Today, I will dive deep into the importance of a ‘winning’ process, as well as discuss its adaptability towards individual employees and how it should always be in line with your business objectives.
If you have creative-oriented employees, such as designers or content writers, this article is for you as well. By following a ‘winning’ process, your employees can save time, use that time to do more creative work, and help the company grow through their creativity. That is why having processes is just as important for creative work as it is for more routine tasks. It will have an equally important contribution to growth – just in a different way.
Regardless of whether we are speaking about our business plan writing, employee recruiting & onboarding, meeting scheduling, or anything else, having the right processes adds value to our company, and will certainly add value to yours too!
3 Added Values of a ‘Winning’ Process
1. Establishing Quality by Avoiding Mishaps
Proper processes allow everyone in a team to know which share of the work they are responsible for, what and with whom communication needs to happen, and what the deadlines are. In addition, understanding a process you are a part of allows you to understand the bigger picture (that is, not only the current steps of the process, but the previous and the next steps as well) and therefore better understand the added value of your share of the work, thus creating all-around motivation. And this motivation then translates to quality work.
Standardization is inevitably expected – whether it is from our attorney partners, clients, job candidates, or newly onboarded employees. Well thought-out processes have useful yet seamless (today, mostly software-run) reminders wherever needed – and these reminders ensure continuous high performance. Processes are vital to guarantee, for example, that each client receives the same service up until project completion, or that each job applicant receives the same treatment throughout the recruiting cycle.
3. Retaining Quality with Ever Increasing Volume
Processes save time that would otherwise be spent on understanding what to do next, who to speak to, who to deliver the work product to, where to seek solutions when issues come up, and so on. Instead, with strong processes, this time can be dedicated to making sure that the quality of whatever work remains top-notch even at times of high growth when everyone gets super busy.
But some employees are not passionate about processes. So, to ensure adherence, you should convince and show to your entire organization that following processes supports whatever other work or activity such employees are passionate about. That is why your process should not be written in stone. It should be flexible – but to what extent?
The Level of Flexibility of a Process Towards Individual Employees
The flexibility of a process should be medium. Processes serve a purpose. If allowing the flexibility will endanger that purpose, then the flexibility should not be allowed. On the other hand, if allowing the flexibility does not endanger the purpose or even helps the purpose behind the process – then that flexibility should exist.
For example, a part of our business plan writing process is that each of our business plans needs to be reviewed by an expert proofreader. Regardless of circumstances, we would never allow flexibility to the extent that we skip or spend less time than needed on a business plan proofread; instead, we would ensure sufficient resources to execute the process as is.
On the other hand, if one of our proofreaders needs flexibility that does not hurt the purpose of delivering quality products on time – for example, if they prefer to proofread documents at night instead of during the day – this is a degree of flexibility that can be allowed. It can also be encouraged as it might lead to better motivation and, thus, a better work product.
Let’s assume you have a clearly defined process in the company, and that all your employees have endorsed it. Still, there is no flawless process! So, what happens then? You should know how to address any issues that may occur along the way in order to stay on track.
Staying on Track With Your Process
To stay on track with any process, you should always have a clear layout of who the owner of (or who is responsible for) every action is. That means knowing who is supposed to complete action #1, action #2, and so on. You should also be aware of who is supervising the completion of every action.
The most important part, however, is using issues that come up with your process for ideas on how to make lasting improvements. Every process issue should have a long-term solution attached to it that makes the process stronger. When solving an immediate issue, we also always ask ourselves: “What should we add to or change in the process so that this kind of issue doesn’t happen ever again?”
The Right Processes Will Spur Growth & Creativity
The phrase “following a process” might sound tedious. It might even sound like an antonym to “thinking outside of the box.” Let me assure you – it is not!
Of course, some processes are overwhelming, unnecessary, redundant, or bureaucratic, and such processes should be improved or removed from use. However, if we are talking about properly established processes that are in line with business objectives, then those processes facilitate efficiency, effectiveness, out-of-the-box thinking, and creativity. There is no doubt that establishing the right process is crucial for success.