Whatever your environment, if you can standardize processes within your company, it can help enhance employee satisfaction.
Most organizations look at ways to improve their processes to drive toward outcomes such as growth, profitability and customer loyalty. That external view drives a lot of us to create and evolve how we work and what we offer.
However, with our tight job market and drive toward automation, companies now look inward to relevant outcomes, and challenges, like employee experience and retention. This is where our story begins.
Employee turnover keeps the executive team up at night – plain and simple. It’s a tough problem to crack, and the team spent months chipping away on it. Not only do they need to address how to keep employees on board longer, once they get them to the organization, but they also need to onboard their new recruits quickly and help each person gain confidence in their role and career path. We tied this example to a manufacturing client, but we all can tweak this situation and see ourselves in this challenge. What should we do?
One of the essential practice areas we often begin with at Centric Consulting is our operational and process excellence team, and this challenge was no different. After our team looked at the ideas already considered and implemented by the company’s leadership team, we landed on standardizing key processes to enhance both the employee experience and the manufacturing environment.
Application in Operational and Process Excellence
When looking at standardization in the workplace, the first areas we target are those processes where multiple individuals do the same kind of work. We can simplify any process, which results in benefits for both the employee and the company. However, homogeneous processes benefit even more when we implement a level of standardization.
Standardization usually occurs once we determine a future state based on data analysis and team discovery. Processes designed to meet the needs of the customer have the best chance of success through standardization. The reason is simple. Non-value-added tasks cause delays, quality issues and adherence problems.
Locking in the Best Process
We have two main standardization techniques: standard methods and mistake proofing.
- Standard Method – Standard method means selecting one way to perform an activity, then having all employees use that method. We usually document the standard approach in work procedures, and it is often the subject of policy articles.
- Mistake Proofing – Error or mistake-proofing involves removing the ability to make a mistake from the process. The process works despite human involvement. Once you determine a standard process, you determine how best to make those changes permanent, and lock in the new way. Using mistake proofing techniques within the future state design provides a process greater returns and discourages returning to the “old way.”
Monitoring specific metrics around employee churn is straightforward here. What’s more rewarding to watch, yet harder to measure, is employee happiness. Having this process in place helps each employee understand how they can be successful in the company and grow in their career, which means more freedom and income the longer they stay. Providing clarity around the role at each step, as well as exact process details for each role, is one way we will build on the organization’s vision for reducing churn and creating a productive manufacturing environment.
If you’re considering enhancing your employee’s experience or company’s vision for training, consider some of our other resources for weaving in operational excellence tools and methods to build success quickly. Our process assessment is a quick look into your world if you prefer an outside perspective to help you develop your vision.