In the early days of your business, it is not uncommon to handle all aspects of your business by yourself. However, once you have a team, things get tricky. Each member of your staff has a different working style and process. As a result, there is a wide variance in the quality of output delivered by each of your employees.
Establishing processes is hence quintessential to standardizing work quality. Here are a few tips to help you with this.
Create work process templates
One way to create standard delivery outputs is by building templates that every member of your team can follow. There are two advantages to this strategy. Firstly, templates allow your employees to be more productive by not having to duplicate the work that goes into building documents from scratch. Secondly, it makes transitions within the team seamless since there is little to no difference in the format of the output regardless of who works on them.
Automation brings down the number of manual interventions in processes and this, in turn, reduces the possibility of errors. For workload automation to be effective it needs to be strategically implemented within the organization.
There are plenty of online sources from which you can download templates for every work process, including business proposals, reports, PRDs, invoices, NDAs, and so on. If the document you prepare has an impact on customer conversion and revenues, it is a good idea to test out multiple variants of the document and pick one based on the results.
Establish standard procedures
While process templates help bring down variance in output, it does not impact the quality of work. That is handled with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). Without SOPs, the output quality can take a beating. Take the example of a forging assembly line where every worker is assigned a specific set of tasks. Without established processes, these workers may not allow the same amount of time for liquid metal to cool in the mould. This can impact the endurance and quality of the product being built.
SOPs specify the exact sequence of processes to be followed by every worker, along with the time they have to allot for each step. In addition to ensuring uniform output quality, SOPs also ensure optimal productivity throughout the work process.
SOPs can also play an important role in non-manufacturing businesses. Rob Evans, the founder of Australian rope access training company, Graviteq, says his organization uses SOPs to train technicians to follow rigorous protocols while at their tasks. Failure to adhere to these SOPs can be a matter of life and death in real-world situations.
Automate & build scalable solutions
The size of your team has a direct correlation to the things that can go wrong. A large team needs a clearer transition of thought among various members in order to avoid constant firefighting. One way to achieve this is through automation. Automation brings down the number of manual interventions in processes and this, in turn, reduces the possibility of errors.
In addition to automation, you must also build solutions that are scalable. Take the example of a call centre that has hundreds of staff members attending to customer sales and service calls. Without a process in place, the resolution of an issue is dependent entirely on the particular member handling the call. You can avoid this by introducing call center scripts and a knowledge base that the staff can refer to during the call. This standardizes operations and helps in keeping human error low despite scaling operations.
In the end, it is worth remembering that the objective of building a team is to scale your operations and bring your workload down. However, wrong processes can quickly mess with your objectives and bring about tons of firefighting that will undo any scaling up you had planned for. The tips mentioned here in this article should go a long way in establishing processes that make your operations seamless and reduce the issues caused by human error in a growing team.