People VS Process
When issues arise because a customer is dissatisfied or a mistake occurs, it’s commonplace to blame employees for the customer’s discontent.
Now I’m in the mindset that most people come to work to do a good job. I believe that most people do not get up in the morning thinking “I’m going to purposely create chaos for customers and peers at work today!” Every once in a while you’ll find a knucklehead employee that just wants to do what they want to do, but that’s rare in my opinion. I’m more inclined to believe that it’s more than likely a process issue vs an employee issue.
When speaking of processes as the culprit, I’m thinking of two processes in particular:
The process/processes connected to the issue.
The process for the process/processes connected to the issue.
Let’s take a look at each of these.
The Process/Processes Connected to the Issue
Identify and examine the process/processes connected to the issue. Here’s an opportunity to utilize process mapping to identify ways to improve outcomes. Are there gaps that create customer dissatisfaction? Employees create workarounds (Yep, I’ve done it too!) to bad processes in order to ensure customer satisfaction.
Employees also start creating processes when an adequate one does not exist in an attempt to make sure things go smoothly. Remember, most people come to work to do a good job and often go to these lengths to do so.
The Employee Training Process for the Process/Processes Attached to the Issue
Now let’s say that the process is well-defined and contains all of the necessary elements of a good process. The next question to ask is – What does the employee training process look like? It doesn’t matter that you spent hours creating processes that are amazing, when the employee training process is lacking.
It’s imperative that employees are provided with the proper training to ensure that their actions do not negatively impact the processes in which they operate. Training should include verification that employees comprehend the training and can demonstrate the ability to correctly perform their process tasks.
When customer discontent presents itself, be more inclined to focus on processes. It’s not always a people issue.