Workplace: Systems

Every workplace has processes and systems by which and through which daily work is accomplished. Sometimes formal, documented systems and protocols exist. Other times, systems are passed along worker by worker, by word of mouth. Without repeatable systems, no workplace survives.

Jobs throughout companies of all sizes, governments at every level, K-12 and higher-education, and non-profits, require people to follow specific systems for safety, for customer service, for donor/taxpayer services, and for daily work accomplishment.

Effective systems successfully achieve work and provide productive customer service. Poor systems create re-work and frustration. Well-documented systems typically allow for timely training of new employees, and timely day-over-day work accomplishment. Poorly documented systems are not repeatable which means work is done differently every time, even when it needs to be completed similarly or the same in every situation.

Systems are comprised of steps, sequences, orders, and directions. Systems are meant to create consistency, ease of implementation, and repeatable actions. Some systems monitor employee implementation of systems. Remember “this call may be recorded for training purposes” messages you’ve heard? These are systems monitoring systems.

Work flow analysis is a system for determining whether the processes in place are working well or are in need of revision. Safety and quality reviews, whether internal or performed by outside auditing entities, are systems for confirming what is working and identifying where breakdowns may be occurring.

Establishing an annual Strategic Plan serves as a system for reviewing accomplishments, assessing implementation, and documenting future goals. Annual employee performance plans and reviews are systems for individual contributor effectiveness, growth, and development. Documented job descriptions contribute to organizational systems for hiring, promoting, firing, and performance reviewing.

In other words, every aspect of daily business operations, when effective, has a documented system in place for performing and managing work.

What systems do you use every day to accomplish work? What systems are your employees and teams using daily? Are these systems working well or do they need improving?

If it’s time for a Workplace Systems review, call master facilitator and strategic planning leader Jana Kemp: 208-367-1701

As the author of seven books, in seven languages, Jana has been interviewed by U.S., Canadian, and European programs, and magazines. Her presentations have been seen in the United States and India by international audience members.

Workplace – the Blog: Managing the moments of our day-to-day business lives takes work. Together, let’s explore what issues and activities affect us every day (or some days) that we go to work. Together we can find working solutions.

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