Why Employee Daily Routine Checklists Absolutely Work
Employee Daily Routine Checklists ... how do they work?
When we first designed a Business Process Management solution for our small business, one system that had a profound impact was Employee Daily Routine Checklists (DRCs).
As the owner of the business, I had control over who did What, When, Where, and How. I could see at-a-glance what each employee in our company did, from their arrival until leaving at day’s end. And, without having to ask anyone!
Moreover, I could see any overlapping and redundancy of tasks with employees.
As a result, if I discovered a redundant task on different Employee Daily Routine Checklists, I made a change. I simply moved the redundant PROMPT from one employee’s DRC to another employee’s DRC. Simple, really; but it works, ABSOLUTELY!
A Canadian Business Owner – Wow! I Can’t Believe it!
Sitting in my office one morning, I received a phone call I will never forget. In fact, I tell this story often, when I speak at events about “Systems to Organize a Small Business.” On the phone was a new client I’ll call Carol who had come aboard recently. She was implementing our business process management software into her company, located in Canada.
I might have thought she was on another planet, she spoke at such a low volume! “Hello,” I said, more than once.
“Philip,” she whispered a bit louder, “I don’t want to talk too loud as my office is next to my Production Manager’s office. I prefer him not to hear what I’m about to tell you. Do you remember what I told you about him, when I was in Nashville visiting your plant? That when I got back home I would probably fire my production manager, because I can’t seem to get him to do what I need done. I was tired of constantly reminding him. I’d had it! But, YOU said to wait until I gave my Production Manager a fair chance by giving him the tools to do his job.” She took a breath then.
“Yes, I remember,” I said.
A Client’s Encouraging Whispers
“Well”, she continued, “I developed a Production Manager’s Daily Routine Checklist from the template we received from your software. I gave it to him to use, after going over all the particulars on the document.”
Still whispering in an excited tone, she said, “Philip, I can hardly believe it! Bill is doing everything on the checklist VERBATIM, and I don’t have to remind him of anything! If I need him to do another task, I just add it to the checklist. I can hardly believe it is so SIMPLE! Wow!”
I think that says it all.
What is a Prompt on a Control Checklist?
A prompt is simply a statement/call-to-action, to complete a task. In addition, there’s a checkbox to check, to indicate the Prompt’s completion.
Example: ☑ Backup of Main Server Completed
Job Description versus Daily Routine Checklists
Many businesses use Job Descriptions when first hiring employees. However, after the initial reading of the job’s description by the new hire, the document is filed away, rarely to be seen again. The Job Description is usually a generic document. It lists only some of the duties the employee will perform, coupled with duties they will likely never perform.
As a result, neither the owner nor management knows the DETAILS of the Job Description. Specifically, they don’t know what an employee does from beginning to end of a shift. That changes with having employee daily routine checklists!
Consequently, when a company grows from (i.e.) five to fifty employees, management hasn’t a clue about task redundancies. When two or more people are assigned to the same task it causes confusion. This incomplete picture of an employee’s job duties, without using a checklist, results in critical tasks not performed in a timely manner. Example: Maintenance on valuable equipment not done.
To Summarize re Employee Daily Routine Checklists
Job Descriptions, converted into detailed Employee Daily Routine Checklists, are more effective tools for business process management. A checklist system for an employee’s daily routine results in much more accountability. Moreover, DRC’s reduce costly mistakes; not to mention, management NOT having to remind employees repeatedly, to do this or that.
A Daily Routine Checklist, along with other control checklists, results in a Symphony of Order, absolutely!
Did I mention, Great systems work!
Philip Beyer, founder/president of Ebiz Products LLC and founder of Beyer Printing Inc. in Nashville Tenn., is a chronic entrepreneur, business systems analyst and consultant. Author of "System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business" and recipient of an InterTech Technology Award for the design and development of System100 business process management software. Beyer speaks to business owners across the country on how to bring lean, sustainable order to their businesses. Contact him at (615) 425-2652.