Systemising your business is one of the best things you can do to improve and grow your business. If you have a team and you are looking to put systems in place, then this article is for you.
You can waste a lot of time and energy on systems if you don’t have your team on board and motivated from the start. Having your team involved in the systemisation process, as part of your growth strategy is essential to its success.
The systemisation of your business is more than a project; it’s a way of life. In business, we call this the business culture. Having your team embrace systems and abide by them should be part of your culture.
Even with the best intentions, introducing a change of any kind could encounter some resistance. First, let’s have a look at some of the more common objections and then how you can approach systemisation to avoid these.
- Your team may fear that when new processes are introduced, their position may no longer be valid.
- They will want to know what’s in it for them
- They will worry that their workload will increase
- Some may feel uncomfortable that they will have to learn new ways of doing things
- They fear they will have no say in process decisions
- It’s just another thing they have to do (use the systems manual) that won’t last
- They think they have more important things to deal with
Being aware of the common objections means that you are in a position to approach systemisation more strategically.
5 Ways to Get Buy-in from your Team
1. Get Your Team Involved
This is critical. Keeping secrets and making decisions behind their backs instantly creates suspicion. Openness and honesty is the best policy. Establishing and improving systems is always seen in a positive light, hard work is needed to get there, but if done properly, the payoff is worth it.
Talk to your team about systems and processes and how they are beneficial, get their feedback. Identify issues due to a systems problem and discuss how improved systems could solve the problem. Warm up the entire team to systems and how they ultimately will make life easier for everyone. A good starting point is to have every department or individual write down everything they do and then rate every process in terms of effectiveness. Ask for input such as what they suggest would improve a process in their speciality area and get them involved in building the processes.
When it’s time to look at better software applications, it will be your team in the trenches. It’s important that they have input into the software selection instead of dictating what they should use. This always results in more engagement and motivation to use the software. Make sure that their feedback influences the final decision you eventually make.
2. Build Systems and Processes into your Business Culture
Systems and processes should have the priority they deserve. Promote only positive benefits of systemisation. The focus should be on how the business will benefit overall and why it will make their job easier. Your team need to understand that for the business to grow; it needs to be agile and stay up to date with changing market conditions.
Keep systems top of mind by including process improvement as part of your regular meeting agenda. Ask what’s working and what’s not working. Encourage the team to come up with their own solutions, so that they are included in the process and their opinion matters.
Keep in mind that it’s your team who create the customer experience. So if your team encounter friction to get their job done, it would be very unlikely that they would be able to create a great experience for the customer.
Getting the team working on improving the systems that they use creates a motivating, process driven environment that gives meaning and purpose to work. Ultimately, something that improves both the staff experience and customer experience is never going to be a hard sell.
3. Provide Support
Ensure people have the training, ongoing support and resources they need to get their job done according to the businesses systems, processes and policies. Delegate the role of Systems Manager to one of your team members, make sure you select the right person who enjoys being involved with your continuous improvement initiatives. As part of the System’s Manager’s role, have them regularly check in with staff to reassure and answer any questions they may have.
Have the team work closely with the Systems Manager to develop and review processes ensuring each process goes through the same test and measurement procedure. Make sure you have an approval process in place to avoid unauthorised changes.
4. Show Leadership
To get your team motivated and remain motivated, you too must be 100% committed. One thing I see happen is as the initial excitement of the new project wears off people’s energy wanes, and progress is slow. This is one reason it’s so important to plan and set goals with the systemisation of your business. Results will come with commitment. Systemisation never ends, there is a big burst of action at the beginning followed by consistent systems management. Systems become an integral part of your business and culture. As the leader, your role is to motivate your team, to remain focused and keep the momentum going.
Set an example by fully embracing the new and improved systems yourself. If a new system is established, don’t revert to the old system purely because it was easier at the time. This sends a message to your staff that it’s ok not to follow procedure. So if an internal communication process is in place that everyone is to use the new chat program, don’t send emails.
Don’t make business systemisation an uphill battle, make it fun. A small incentive goes a long way in getting participation and accountability. You know what works best for your team but here are a few suggestions:
Divide departments of your business into teams such as Marketing team, Operations team etc. Set a due date for the teams to have drafted, tested and finalised their processes. Competitiveness between teams will provide the incentive to stay in the game.
When an issue arises, that is due to a systems problem, reward the team members who come up with the best innovative solution. This helps promote a mindset of bringing solutions to the table instead of problems.
When a new process is introduced, send out a bunch of questions that will get everyone’s feedback. From the feedback, reward those whose feedback enables a systems improvement.
Recognise those staff who have helped others to adapt and learn the company’s systems and processes.
When your team can help drive the systematisation process, they take ownership. With ownership comes accountability. With systems, it’s not hard to find a positive from any negative. A strong team can ride the waves of systemisation, and with strong leadership, your business will in time require less of your hands on involvement.
Has systemisation of your business been put on the back burner? Book in a strategy session and let’s talk about how systemisation can be implemented the right way with full cooperation from your team.