Improving your organisation’s processes is critical when preparing to hire or scale. These process improvements contribute to the success and speed of your onboarding period for a new employee, create consistent quality of work across your organisation, and help your team get more things done in less time.
Such benefits are crucial for the growth and success of your organisation. Not to mention that a business with poorly designed processes will find growth and scalability extremely hard without losing quality. Are you planning to grow your team and scale your organisation? If you are, below are some expert tips to help improve your processes before hiring.
1. Create an Employee Handbook
The employee handbook, also known as an employee manual or company policy manual, is the keystone to good employment practices. It communicates your organisation’s policies and procedures, as well as the basics that a new employee is supposed to know while he or she is working in your organisation.
Ideally, the employee handbook should state your mission, purpose, and values. It should also dive into any job-related information such as holiday arrangements, disciplinary procedures, grievance procedures, orientation expectations, employee payments, and any unique organisation rules. Besides stipulating how employees will conduct themselves while in the workplace, an employee handbook can also be used as a legal binding document in addition to an individual’s employment contract.
Check out this video from Zappos about their employee handbook, it’s a little different than usual!
2. Develop Role Specific Training Material
Another great way to improve your processes is to develop role specific training material. As the name implies, this is a customised training manual that takes into account the specific roles within your organisation and tailors the training accordingly. Just like any other training manual, a role-specific training manual should be easy to read and understand. In your manual, try to include job-related tasks, a detailed process for completing each task, and how the training manual should be used. You may look to create a fully-customised manual for every role in your organisation, or you could try to group segments of your team instead. For example, the sales team could have its own manual, so would operations, and finance etc.
A well-detailed training manual ensures that your new employees receive the right training for the right role, it boosts your employees' confidence in their new position, and it also improves the chance of you getting a good outcome from your hire.
3. Focus on a 90-day Onboarding Plan
A robust onboarding program is critical in any hiring process because it helps your new hires tune into their new role as quickly as possible. It also promotes their satisfaction and reduces employee turnover, with an aim of getting them up to full capacity in the shortest time possible. As a rule, each organisation has its own approach to onboarding. However, the conventional wisdom of employment experts suggests that new employees require about 90 days of onboarding to effectively get up to speed. This first 90 days of a new employee's tenure is therefore the most important. A robust 90-day onboarding program should provide the new hire with the necessary administrative documents, tools, and other essential resources required to complete their job effectively. But it should also welcome them into the team culture and make them feel at home.
Here is a helpful visual of a 90-day onboarding plan created by American Express:
4. Standardise Performance Reviews Across the Organisation
Standardising performance reviews across your organisation is critical for consistency in promotions, salary increases, and effectively moving employees between departments. A well-designed performance review system will hold everyone in your team accountable to outcomes, whilst also motivating them to achieve their individual goals. To achieve this your best path forward is to create a common performance review system, and then trust department heads or managers to ensure the reviews are going ahead.
To create a proper performance review practice, you need to create a detailed evaluation form, pinpoint performance measures, set disciplinary actions, and formulate a performance evaluation schedule. An effective performance appraisal should be fair, consistent, and of course it should be ethical.
5. Automate as Much as Possible
Automation is the use of modern technology to enhance your organisation’s information management as well as increasing your overall performance. To effectively scale your organisation, and compete with others in your industry, you should aim to automate as many business processes as possible so that old practices and manual data entry aren’t bogging your employees down. If you are planning to automate processes in your organisation for the first time, you should start by automating the easiest ones first. Learn from industry leaders, get the right technology partners to help you automate, and help your existing employees embrace the new culture.
Are you preparing to scale? How do you plan on improving your processes beforehand?