I once went to one of those dreaded team building meetings where we had to work together to solve a problem. Executives were mixed in with everyone else, and once the teams were divided, they were a diverse collection of problem-solvers with various educational and professional backgrounds. The goal: Drive a golf ball from one point to another with 95% or greater results that stopped on the target.
At first, just eyeballing it and attempting to adjust speed and trajectory seemed like an okay plan. However, not everyone on the team performed to the same level as more experienced golfers. We were not hitting our target rate. So, we devised a plan: Build a funnel through which the golf ball would travel.
The funnel increased the success of our team, but there were still a few who struggled to land on target, bringing our percentage down. By brainstorming ways to solve this, we decided to create a “stopper”—another golf ball that sat right behind the target that would end the forward motion of the first ball.
This got results! Everyone started performing at 100% and our team won the challenge.
This experience had reverberating effects throughout our organization. Executives realized the innovative power of lower-ranked employees and began listening to them when it came to problem-solving. Those who daily worked with the convoluted, outdated business processes soon saw their suggestions for better tech being implemented. In turn, this created employees who were agile, knowledgeable, and excelled at customer satisfaction.
Customers noticed the change as employees were able to focus more on their needs and less on the tedious processes that hindered their ability to provide outstanding service. The organization gained a reputation for excellent employee experience and became a top place to work by implementing business process management solutions (BPM) suggested by employees.
Employee Engagement Isn’t Just Employee Happiness
Employee engagement is more than employee happiness. In Scott Menter’s blog BPM and Employee Engagement, he says, “Employee engagement is a 21st-century metric, one that nobody really considered or cared about in earlier decades…it’s proportional to the percentage of time a given employee spends doing things that move your company in the right direction.”
Employee engagement directly correlates to productivity, and the best way to increase productivity is through streamlined business processes—BPM’s bread and butter.
Involving your employees in the development and implementation of workflow management is the unexpected link between BPM and employee engagement, and often the one that is overlooked the most.
Involving Employees in Process
Think about the one process that really disengages your employees. Don’t know what that process is? It’s time to ask.
The person who actually performs the job is usually the expert at it, and more often than not, that worker wants to have your listening ear. They want to tell you ways they can perform better. Employees, as a whole, want to do well at their jobs, but sometimes they are hindered by the routine.
Indeed, research conducted by Promapp showed the following insights:
- 44%of companies said that few to none of their processes are used by employees
- 41%admitted that their processes are not clear and helpful
- Only 61%of companies even had their processes documented.
Collaborating with employees is key to discovering slow or outdated business processes, unnecessary routines, and areas that can be automated. Involving employees in BPM is essential to improvement, and it isn’t hard to do. You can use the following four tips to engage employees while discovering ways to increase productivity and your bottom line.
4 Tips to Engage Employees
Emails. Newsletters. Posters. Notes. Using multiple modes of communication to reiterate your process management efforts is crucial to keeping BPM top-of-mind. You want your employees to discover and internalize the processes so that they become process advocates for your company. Offer your top process champions leadership opportunities within the communication sphere (creating content for the newsletter, for example) if you want to drive engagement and create peer support for the changes.
A 2013 study asked workers what motivated them and drove engagement in their work. An overwhelming 83% said that recognition for contributions was more fulfilling than any rewards or gifts, and 88% found praise from managers very or extremely motivating. If those numbers don’t shake up everything you thought you knew about increasing productivity, you aren’t paying attention. Employees want to do well, and they want recognition for their work. Did Jill in customer service find an awesome new automation tool that will reduce customer wait time and increase customer focus? Laud her for her involvement in your organization’s BPM software in the next newsletter! Collaboration is absolutely crucial, but if your employees aren’t recognized and praised for their contributions, you may soon find they are no longer interested in helping you find improvements.
Ivan Seselj suggests appealing to employees’ competitive spirits through competitions in his blog 9 Ways to Secure Team Participation in Process Improvement. Further, he suggests a new trend in competing called gamification. “Some businesses even use gamification – process sprints or virtual scavenger hunts, with clues hidden within processes – to make process improvement fun.” BPM tools don’t have to be dry. Employees can be involved in fun, creative ways like the golf ball experience above to inspire them to action.
You can drive daily integration of process management by making it a part of their every day routine. Of course, we don’t want employees to be slowed down by outdated processes, but there are ways to incorporate BPM technology into their daily consciousness. Consider moving important or often used documents into the BPM tool or automate the process for obtaining reports on client data. If your employee needs to run a daily report, consider an automatic email sent each morning with the information they need, so they don’t have to click through screens manually to obtain the information.
The most important part of the link between business process management and employee engagement is involving employees in the process. Listen to them. What do they need to be faster, more productive, or more participative in their jobs? That is where you should start. Because ultimately, employee engagement is a fundamental contribution to your bottom line.
For guidance regarding Constructive Feedback, Performance Management, Employee Relations, Leadership and Executive Coaching and Development, and all things “HR,” The Pendolino Group is here to support you and your team. Contact us today!