One of the most frustrating aspects of running a business is getting employees to follow your business processes. Whether it is submitting timesheets late, making mistakes on proposals, failing to respond to clients correctly or failing to get approvals for extra services change orders, it is costing you money – and headaches!
What your employees do every day as they work on projects will determine whether your employees are productive, and your firm’s profits are maximized. In any A&E firm, effective business processes are critical to ensure high quality, guarantee excellent client service and reduce risk.
As you put processes in place to help employees to be productive and efficient, it is imperative to get your team to follow them. Otherwise, there will be dollars leaking every day from wasted time, scope creep, lost proposals and inconsistent client service.
Your A&E firm will run smoother and your employees will be much happier with clear guidance as to the best way to do their work. Here are 10 criteria for ensuring your processes are in fact, best practices and support your employees every day.
Any process your employees are asked to follow should be a best way to do something. If it is not the best way to do something, then it is understandable that your employees resist doing it and create their own better ways. Ensure all processes truly make your employee’s jobs easier, as well as supporting the company’s business goals.
Document your best practices and effectively communicate them to your employees and across offices, etc. Many firms have processes that are not documented, and employees are given inconsistent training and guidance. If your processes are not written, then you really don’t have processes at all.
Train employees regarding the “why” behind your processes. Most employees don’t see the connection between their timesheet and their paycheck. They may not understand why they are being asked to do things that they perceive as cumbersome, and don’t comprehend the business purpose for your processes. If they see the connection between their behavior and the company’s financial success it will make a huge difference with compliance.
Be more transparent. Firms that share financial information have more engaged and loyal employees, and ultimately, higher retention and employee performance.
Implement a culture of positive accountability. Your top performers want to be rewarded for great performance and don’t mind being held accountable. Compliance with company best practices should be a part of an effective performance management program.
Ensure that your management team is following established policies and procedures and are leading by example. Your employees are watching and emulating everything your leaders do.
Regularly monitor the status of compliance across the organization. Silos in your company create opportunities for employees to do things their own way and not operate as “one company”. Review data from your system at regular meetings so that staff are encouraged to keep data updated. Praise those that are updating their budgets, schedules, projections, opportunities, etc.
Provide feedback and recognition at regular intervals, do away with annual performance reviews. Most employees hate their annual review and crave more feedback. Yearly feedback is often provided way too late to make a difference in results.
Bonuses and raises need to be tied to financial results in order to impact behavior. Rewarding poor or mediocre performance sends the wrong message to those that are contributing and meeting expectations and lowers the standards of your firm.
Survey your employees to determine if everyone understands your policies, is trained on how to use your systems, and are easily able to accomplish their goals. A Business Management Assessment is a fast and affordable way to get deep insights and suggestions for improvement.
By ensuring that employees follow business best practices, you will avoid costly errors and client mishaps, and ensure higher profitability and happier clients. When employees are clearly guided to do things the right way, they will also be happier, experience less daily frustration and feel empowered and motivated to do their best.
Your A&E firm doesn’t have to struggle to get employees to follow best practices. We help you train employees so they are happy and productive so you can Find the Lost dollars to grow your business. Visit https://aecbusiness.com or call us at 877-356-9420 to learn how!