Find ways to improve

3 minutes
chercher des pistes d'amélioration
chercher des pistes d'amélioration © Kimberly Vohsen – 2011

To progress, you must find, without stopping, new ways to improve. your creativity may be dry … In my last article, I discussed the management of the 3% problematic employees. However, your organization may not have malicious employees, but only 3% of employees who are recalcitrant to your practices.

Assuming all your employees are good employees (you have good recruiters and good managers), these 3% of recalcitrants can be seen as driving forces. They get up every morning with the goal of doing their job well and moving their organization forward.

Using your employees’ input

With their intelligence and the efforts they make to circumvent the rules you impose, they offer you some great ways to improve.

When the manager meets these people, he should do so in an open mind. By using tools of the type 5 Why, he can seek to understand where is the gap between the behavior and the expectations of the organization..

  • Is the value system different?
  • Has your employee found a different way to achieve a result?
  • Is the “how” important to your organization?
  • How much do you want to standardize your practices?
  • How do you recognize innovation?

We must not question all the rules, at the risk of wasting a lot of time, but we must have openness and discernment to ask the right questions, especially when situations are repeated. Also think about the power of fresh eyes of your new employees. Anyone arriving in an organization should be required to submit a report of astonishment within the first two weeks of taking office. This report will tell you a lot about practices that deserve to be challenged.

Examples of rules not respected and possible root causes

Here are some examples of practices that offer opportunities for improvement:

  • A text imposed to answer a question from a client
    In a general way the imposed texts (unless they are the subject of a legal constraint) sound bad. They are recited and misunderstood.
  • A permission to take an action
    When the authorization is given systematically or in identified cases, the employee will proceed and then ask for permission after the action. The application is just a formality, which is wasting time for both parties.
  • The signing of a document by several people
    Paraphers who pass from office to office, for signature, without being ever checked do not encourage the employee to take responsibility for his actions.

The processes that are circumvented are good candidates for continuous improvement.

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