Find Solutions to Common Business Frustrations
I have worked for hundreds of business owners over many decades. Among all these businesses, there is no shortage of business frustrations. You want something done a certain way. You explain that to your employees. Perhaps you even show them how you want this done. Or, you may have a very thorough training program in place to get your new hires up to speed.
But inevitably, something goes wrong. A mistake is made, a promise is not kept, work is sub-standard, customer service is not adequate to resolve an issue, the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. It goes on and on. There is no way to eliminate all mistakes, but by putting certain things in place in your business, you have a much better chance of offering a consistently excellent customer experience.
It might surprise you to hear that eliminating business frustrations begins with your recruitment process. Recruitment is a two-way street. Explaining your business vision to potential new hires gives them an understanding of not only the job you are offering, but also the company culture they will be joining. If a new hire is a good match for both the job and the culture, there is a better chance for success for both the new employee and the company.
An Organization Chart lays out the job functions in a company that are needed to fulfill the business vision over time. It serves as a hiring road map. It can be used to determine a timeline for growth and the hiring strategy that accompanies it. As more help is needed, it identifies managers who can share the supervisory functions in the company. Without it, there is no good way to navigate growth and make good strategic decisions about next steps.
For owner-operated businesses without employees, the organization chart can help identify the first hire. It’s a touchstone that ensures consistency and a tool for good decision-making. It can even help the owner(s) plan their exit strategy when the time comes. The Organization Chart provides the basis for clarity about who does what and can eliminate frustrations like duplication of effort or things slipping through the cracks.
Position Agreements provide the details about the overall result that is expected, the job tasks and the standards of work that are to be met by the employee. Many companies offer job descriptions, but not many offer a more complete document that speaks to the standards to be met and the overall job result that is the accountability of the employee. The Position Agreement is a more complete document that helps the employee navigate their job successfully. By showing this document to the potential new hire and explaining the standard of work to be met, you can pre-qualify a candidate for the job based on their response to this document.
You are looking for a candidate who appreciates the guidance this type of document offers. Making it clear that you hold all your employees accountable for their Position Agreement can eliminate the candidates early on who aren’t interested in that degree of accountability. It’s important to find this out early on in your recruitment process in order to avoid costly mistakes. Getting agreement from the new hire to be accountable for their job function, including the result, the work and the standards is essential to eliminating many of the business frustrations that can happen without it.
Writing down how you want things done is an important aspect of establishing shared expectations. And you can’t have accountability without shared expectations. Systems are a way of documenting the step-by-step for how to do the key tasks in a company. Systems can be used for training new hires and also for keeping all employees on track. There is too much to remember to expect your employees to do it right every time without some kind of support in writing.
Often, a client will tell me there are so many mistakes that happen. They often blame the employees. But when we put the step-by-step in writing, there are often so many steps and so many details that it becomes clear how unfair it is to expect the employee to remember it all. So it’s up to the owner of the company to provide the tools for employee success. Writing down your operating procedures is essential for consistent business operations that produce a great customer experience.
Stay tuned to the next blog post to find out the most common business frustration I have found over more than 25 years of helping business owners build success…..