IDEA #5 – Process versus People.
Process versus People. This simply means to focus primarily on your processes rather than on your employees when it comes to improving results. I am not suggesting ignoring people’s performance but merely switching the emphasis on processes. Furthermore you must realize that your results come from the strengths and weaknesses of your processes as much as the strengths and weaknesses of your people.
It is important to recognize that your basic opinion of your employees plays a crucial part in how you lead them in regards to achieving your goals. It comes down to this: Do you view your employees as people with good work ethics who want to earn an honest day’s work by giving their best, or do you view them as generally lazy or dishonest folks?
Or quite simply do you have a positive opinion or a negative opinion about your employees. That is what sets the tone on whether or not you have a positive or negative working environment. (Note: A web search will help you discover many articles on The Pygmalion Effect which further explains how your expectations based on your opinion of your subordinates, plays a significant role in the end results)
So the first step to a positive work environment will come from within you the leader. Begin by changing your generalized opinion of your employees and watch how your mind begins to look at the problem of quality and productivity improvements very differently. You will begin to identify other possibilities and you will be inspired by the refreshing discoveries that will yield both results and motivated people.
To help you get started on your creative problem skills start thinking about your processes. Analyze every process and ask yourself questions similar to the following:
- Why are we doing it this way?
- Is there a better way?
- What conditions made this the right process at the time and have those conditions changed since then?
- What internal policies forced us into this process and can this policy be modified?
Although you will do this with complex processes, do not shy away from challenging even your most “tried and true” processes – you will be astonished at how your own biases limit your potentially greater successes.
You will find plenty of inspiration and areas that hold lucrative benefits while you focus your problem solving skills on improving your processes rather than on improving your people.
If you want some good positive changes in your business, first change your mind a little and see how that changes your employees’ minds too, for the better.