The EOS® Process Component™: Know Your Core Process
Build your business one process at a time.
Part 5 of a series on unlocking greatness in your business. Previously, I covered what makes a great Vision, how to surround yourself with great People , how to get a handle on the pulse of your business through Data and what to do with all of those things outside of your ideal scene, Issues. This week I cover the 5th key component, the EOS Process Component.
If you’re feeling like your business lacks control, you have no freedom from it or everyone (staff, clients & partners) are coming to you to get something done, there’s a good chance your business has a core process issue.
Your core processes drive your company. If they aren’t documented and followed by everyone, your organisation will run roughly and unevenly. You’ll have inconsistent performance and a degree of chaos throughout the company.
It’s impossible for leadership teams and business owners to fine-tune the business and develop a strategic plan for growth if the core processes found within the company aren’t consistent.
There are two key steps that leadership teams must take in order to systemise their core processes.
The first is to identify, simplify and document all the core processes within the business and the second is to ensure that everyone in the organisation follows these processes.
Creating the best processes for your business requires input from a mix of sources, particularly staff who have worked the processes for a long time.
Ask yourself how many employees are retiring within the next three years? Have their knowledge, experiences and “way of doing things” been documented? How long will it take to train their replacements and who will do that training? Capture their input today, before you lose this great source of knowledge.
Identifying and developing your core processes helps leadership teams understand where there are missing critical procedural steps or conversely, steps that don’t need to be there.
When teams become too entrenched in how they do things without really analysing them, it becomes easy to get settled into that pattern – the “if it ain’t broke, why fix it” mentality.
Simplifying your processes doesn’t just enlighten your leadership teams on how they are doing things now, but it also helps them identify possible areas where improvements can be made.
And most importantly, documenting and simplifying core processes means that business owners and leadership teams can create a self-sustaining organisation that can run smoothly, even if a key member of the team isn’t there.
The first step in bringing control to and understanding of the core processes in your business is to identify them. They typically cover:
- Operations (2 -3)
- Customer service
No matter how many of these core processes your team identifies, everyone needs to be on the same page in terms of what to call them and what they consist of. Doing this creates clarity, reduces confusion, and gets everyone speaking the same language.
The next step is to Document the process. Use a 20/80 approach – document only 20% of the steps that yield 80% of the results. Think high-level summary, not a “how to” training manual.
Followed by All
The final step is to get everyone in the business to follow the updated process. This is best done by excessive over-communication! Retrain everyone and keep them accountable for following their process.
As a business, this last step is where the rubber hits the road. Well-documented processes, that are followed by all, ensure consistency for your customers and scalability of your business.
It is, however, one thing to document a process but another thing entirely to have it followed by all. Embracing something new, such as a process, doesn’t necessarily come easily to people. If you’ve ever invested time, money and resources to implement a new reporting process to manage workflow and information, you probably know what I mean.
Usually, just over half of the employees are using it a year later. Why?
Fear of Loss
Employees aren’t necessarily resistant to following a process, they are more likely afraid of losing something when asked to do so. The most common fears I hear are:
- Loss of status – their role and importance to the organisation will be diminished.
- Loss of control – their freedom to do it THEIR way will be constrained.
- Loss of certainty – there’s risk in trying something new that might not work, and there’s uncertainty that you will stay the course and finish what you start.
- Loss of employment – improvement in efficiency and productivity will eliminate jobs.
Here are 5 suggestions to help employees overcome their resistance to following your Core Processes:
- Explain Why – CORE Processes tie directly to the customer experience as illustrated by your PROVEN Process (part of your marketing strategy as part of your Vision). Providing customers with a consistent experience earns their trust and builds loyalty which creates more business and opportunities to grow.
- Get Their Input – The people who are doing the work should help determine the best way to deliver the desired result. Not involving them, asking them or getting them engaged is a sure way to build resentment and resistance to following any new process.
- Begin with the END in Mind – Determine the desired outcome for the process and work backwards to identify each of the high-level steps necessary to drive that outcome, especially when you have a long revenue cycle;
- Keep It Simple – There are a handful of CORE Processes that drive every business. Determine who has accountability for each one. Identify the high-level steps in each process, the owner of each step and the acceptable time frame for completion.
- Establish Metrics – Identify activities, review each step so that activities can be measured and inform you that the overall process is working.
Once your core processes are followed by all, you’ll be amazed at the difference in your business.
If you’re ready to make positive change, the first step is to schedule a free 90 Minute Meeting. This session will paint a clear picture of the system and will help you decide whether to move forward with EOS®. Schedule a 90 Minute Meeting with Us today.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you have found ways to document and consistently use the core processes of your business in the comments section below.
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