One of my clients was chomping at the bit to document their core processes – especially their HR process. They were a family-owned business and their turnover was holding back their profitability. They believed a robust HR process would reduce turnover and help increase profits.
So I taught them the three-step EOS® method to document their process. They created a rock for it, and got to work. But there were problems.
An Unusable Process
The HR process was developed and launched, but it wasn't working. There was no effect on turnover and they were more frustrated than ever. The Visionary felt like it was a complete waste of time because his son, the Integrator, had spent so much time and energy on an initiative that wasn’t solving their turnover issue. What had gone wrong?
We reviewed their HR Process in the next session. To my surprise, it was 54 pages long! The process was too overwhelming, so no one used it.
I brought them back to the EOS 3-Step Process Documenter™ to create a short process they could actually use, and deliver the results they wanted – driving profits by lowering turnover. Here's how they did it.
The EOS 3-Step Process Documenter
The 3-Step Process Documenter is a simple tool that helps you work backwards from a desired outcome and define the major steps in the process.
Step 1: Identify. List the handful of core processes that make your business go. Typically, your list will look something like this:
- Customer Service
Give each process a name, and make sure everyone in the company knows and uses the name.
Step 2: Document. Take each of those core processes and document them (1 – 10 pages maximum) in high-level outline form. This is not a training manual! Document 20% of the steps that yield 80% of the results. My client created a bullet list of each major step in the process:
- Quarterly Conversations
For each of these major steps, they created a brief, bulleted list of substeps to standardize the process in a simple, easy-to-follow manner.
Step 3: Package. Create a table of contents from the list in Step 1. Each process from Step 2 will be the contents. Now collate them into one single binder or electronic folder. This becomes your company's secret sauce, or franchise prototype of your way of doing business.
Congratulations! You've just documented your core processes.
Documented Processes Pay Dividends
As my client documented their processes, they realized three things:
- This process would not only ensure consistency in searching, interviewing, and hiring, it would also ensure that all current employees are engaged and happy. They would no longer accept mediocre people in the company, including relatives. Underperformers would either be coached up or coached out, but no longer allowed to linger in the organization like they had been.
- Their first pass at this was actually a training manual, not a process manual. It was overwhelming! As a result, they reduced the initial 54 page document to two pages. Now it was simple enough for every manager to follow.
- They could measure the effectiveness of the HR process by adding key steps as measurables to their company scorecard.
The company simplified, documented, and rolled out their other core processes as well. As a result, their business doubled over the following year-and-a-half, and their profit tripled!
Not only were their turnover issues a thing of the past, but the leadership team experienced a new level of freedom, confidence, and peace of mind by following their one way of doing business as defined in their core process manual.
- Unlock the EOS Toolbox™ to download the 3-Step Process Documenter.
- Read Chapter 7 of Traction® to learn how to strengthen the Process Component™ in your business.
This post originally appeared on the GPS For Small Business Blog on October 18, 2017.