As I work with all sorts of business owners and leaders, I find that most people say that they have a pretty good understanding of their employees and their company’s internal workings. But once I start asking a few questions, the majority of people quickly become stumped. They start thinking – do they really have as good an understanding of their employees’ workflow as they think they do?
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to see how well you know what your people are doing – and to get you thinking about how to make it better.
A word of caution. To get the full value of this exercise, DON’T BE VAGUE. Ambiguity is another way of saying “I don’t know,” and that’s specifically what we’re trying to avoid.
The workflow is all about going from the point where you are attracting and acquiring new clients, to when the job is finished, the client is happy, and you’ve been paid. Knowing exactly how your workflow operates is essential for improving your efficiency and for keeping on top of everything. Let these questions guide you towards understanding your own operations.
- How do we get business?
- How do we make sure the work gets done?
- Who’s responsible for client satisfaction and project management?
- If something is forgotten, how will it be caught, and by whom?
- If one of my employees is unexpectedly absent, how will I know what needs to be taken care of in their absence?
- If I want to find out the history of a client or project, where would I look?
- How do different people involved with a client communicate with each other?
The Job Description
You might be surprised by how different a job description is from what people actually end up doing. Most often, leaders think that the employees are supposed to do certain tasks, but the employees are doing something completely different since that’s what will provide the necessary results.
- How accurately can I predict what my employees are doing every day?
- What do my employees find satisfying or challenging about their jobs?
- How easily can I onboard and train a new employee?
- Do employees have transparency about what happens to the client or project before and after they work on it?
The environment you create directly affects your employees’ ability and commitment to doing their jobs, which plays a big role in their overall performance.
- What kind of culture do I encourage?
- What helps my employees work better? What motivates them?
- What do my employees complain about?
- How often do employees receive positive feedback? What about negative feedback?
- If an employee has a complaint, is there someone it can be directed to? What kind of response do they receive?
- If an employee has a suggestion, is there someone it can be directed to? What kind of response do they receive?
There’s no right or wrong answer to any of these – the goal is to get you thinking and to identify problems by yourself. Identifying the problem is 75% of the solution, and if you know what to look for, you can make incredible progress on your own.
Not sure what to look for? Need more help? Click here to schedule a free workflow consultation.