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Why Employees Resist Process (and What To Do About It)

Written by Rene Boer on August 9, 2018

EOS Process Organization Employees

“It’s consistency, not smiles that keep customers coming back.”

Well-documented processes, that are followed by all, ensure consistency for your customers and scalability of your business. However, it’s 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 come easily to people. If you’ve 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?

process-chalkboardFear 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 organization 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.

Overcoming Resistance

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). 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 timeframe for completion.

Establish Metrics – Identify activities, review each step so that activities can be measured and inform you that the overall process is working.

Strengthen Your Process Component™

Believe it or not, your business already has processes that are getting things done. They may not be getting done in the best way, or on time, but they are getting done. However, if you’re not achieving the results you want, it should be apparent that your processes need review. Address them now before the need becomes more urgent.

Creating the best processes for your business requires input from a number 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.

Begin strengthening the Process Component of your business today.

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