My wife and I save gas these days by riding in the same car to work most of the time—besides, we actually like each other, and enjoy the time to discuss the day ahead, various issues in our country and world, and (believe it or not) SYSTEMS.
A couple weeks ago, on the 20-mile ride into Nashville from our little farm, Susan said she had been listening to Fox Business Network, and one of its polls had found that 36 percent of all new hires said they were not made to understand what was actually expected of them from the outset
, and most said that didn’t change much over the first several months on the job.
According to the poll, a large number of employees are frustrated—even depressed—over their jobs because of the “confusion” in the workplace, and would not recommend their employers to others. Is anyone saying, “Ouch!”
I have no trouble believing that poll, having done my own unscientific research—talking directly each day with business owners and managers, and meeting with many businesses’ employees over the past 15 years. I wrote about that in my book, “System Busters: How to Stop Them In Your Business.” The Reason Is Simple
Imagine working in an environment where you don’t really know what is required of you, and you’re unable to access necessary information to do your job without tip-toeing around your supervisor to ask what might be considered “stupid questions.” God forbid the boss should decide you are really NOT capable, that you have a bad memory bordering on Alzheimer’s, or simply give you that LOOK that says, “You should know that, idiot!”
I believe in giving all new hires a detailed orientation about our company and how it operates, along with a clearly defined Job Description and a step-by-step checklist of the new hire’s most important duties—from the time they arrive in the morning until they leave in the afternoon. These checklists also give them access to all company policies and procedures that map out how to do their various duties. With these tools, our employees are able to hit the ground running.
If it is a crucial service or manufacturing process the person is to perform, an employee should be given a detailed QC Checklist. This resource provides the best possible chance for new hires to do their best work for our company right out of the gate. It eliminates the worry that they may misstep, which could result in rework.
It’s also important that employees have evaluation and performance charts, to help them know where they stand. A feeling of insecurity in employees, as to how effective they are in their jobs, is a great killer of initiative and incentive.
Many owners and managers make the excuse that, “If we had systems in place, I couldn’t get my employees to use them anyway!” Or they say they “don’t have time” to write procedures, policies, etc. for their businesses—even as they grumble about having to waste their time and profits doing rework. Go figure!
Did I mention? Great systems work! (At least, when you have them)