A system is a set of principles or procedures that specify how particular tasks are done, and that trained team members can replicate without you.
As your company grows it’s not possible to keep your finger in every pie. In order to build a successful business, you need to introduce systems and processes that can be automated as much as possible.
Good system’s implemented properly, should not only guarantee that your customers are receiving a consistent level of service, they will also enable your business to operate more smoothly and profitably. As we say at ActionCOACH – People run your systems, systems run your business!
Some key systems you will need to build as your company becomes more sophisticated include everything from the simple daily office operation systems (e.g. how the phone is answered), to your sales process, customer support systems, inventory systems, invoicing and accountancy processes, recruitment, training and appraisal systems, among others.
In order to help you get started, there are 4 basic steps to systemisation:
1. Flowchart your processes
The basic rule for systemising is ‘Systemise the routine – humanise the exception’. Make a list of all the things that are done in your business that are repetitive, or perhaps that a lower paid team member could be doing if it were systemised. Then flowchart each process. This will show you how it all fits together.
2. Document how it gets done
Ask the team member who is currently doing the job to write down every step in performing a task. This person then gets a different team member to complete the task following the process. If the person currently doing the task has to step in and explain anything to the new person then that information is added to the step, etc.
3. Manage & measure using Key Performance Indicators
There’s no point having a system in place if it’s not effective. Once you’ve set up a system, make sure you’re measuring the results as you go along. If people are still dropping the ball and you’ve got a system, it means there’s something wrong with the system, not with the person. Typically, your KPI’s will be the top five measures to show system performance. Get these from the person doing the job (i.e. in sales you could use number of leads, conversion rate, average euro sale etc.)
4. Allow the system to change/grow as your business changes and grows.
Ensure that each system is reliable, self-correcting and scaleable so as to allow it to evolve at the same pace that your business evolves.
Some final tips:
- Don’t over complicate systems or people won’t follow them.
- Use lots of photos, videos etc. This may be as simple as printing a computer screen or videoing someone doing the task at hand. This will make the systems much easier to follow.
- Document your system in a policies and procedures or operations manual in an easy to access format. And make sure everyone has a copy or knows where it is! Require all of your team members to periodically review the manual with the goal of identifying needed changes on a timely and qualitative basis.
- Communicate who is responsible for making any changes to policies and procedures.
If you would like more information on how to introduce systems into your business, or if you would like to avail of a complimentary Business Review with one of our top Coaches to uncover ways to grow and improve your business, please fill in your details below and we will be in touch to arrange your appointment:
Seven top tips to ensure your next recruit is one of your most valuable assets….
If you are currently looking to hire or recruit new team members, you might find you have to search harder than in the past to find the ideal employee. As the job market continues to improve, competition is becoming increasingly stiff for the best people.
However, hiring bad employees can cost companies in many ways, including productivity and morale, so it’s vital for the success of your business to get it right!
Here are 7 top tips to help you find your next top team member:
1. Treat Recruiting as MARKETING
For large well-known companies, attracting top talent can be as easy as tweeting, “We’re Hiring!” and watching the applications flow in. However, smaller or lesser known businesses can often find it more difficult to get job seekers interested in opportunities.
Ask yourself, why would the best talent in the market want to work for you?
It’s a big decision moving to a new company, so just the same way you would market your products/services to potential customers in order to build brand awareness and generate sales, you must also sell both the job description and your company (it’s culture, values and mission, it’s workplace, it’s roles and advancement opportunities) to prospective candidates.
Make your company both appealing and visible to job seekers.
2. Engage SOCIAL MEDIA
Use social media to only only advertise current job openings, but also to spread your employer brand to a much larger audience over a longer period of time.
Broadcast the message that yours is a place where people want to work. The very idea of social media is to be social! Don’t just use your social media platforms to shout about your products or services. Share photos of team day’s out, birthday celebrations, charitable donations, or corporate social responsibility projects, and what’s happening in the office or on the shop or factory floor.
By helping people understand what it’s like to work for your business, you can build a pipeline of talented people who are excited to come work for your company before you’ve even posted a job opening. That makes it easier (and less expensive) for you to find job candidates.
3. Develop a great COMPANY CULTURE
It’s important to create a workplace where people want to be, and also to be a boss people want to work for. If you or your management team are Mr. or Ms. Grumpy, you have a major problem. Not only will it be difficult to recruit people, it will be difficult to retain people.
Sometimes it’s the little, inexpensive perks that can create a “cool factor” that makes yours the place to work, like pizza every Friday or team outings to an occasional sporting / music event. Be creative and create an environment where you would want to work.
4. LET EMPLOYEES KNOW you have a job opening
Any marketer will tell you that word-of-mouth is one of the best forms of advertising. The same holds true when marketing to potential employees.
Put your needs on your employees’ radars. Encourage them to share the job advertisement on their LinkedIn and other social media platforms. Ask them to recommend or keep an eye out for candidates that would be a good fit for the company.
Quality people tend to hang out with quality people. If your best workers recommend someone, there’s an excellent chance that the candidate will be a winner.
5. Make it EASY to apply
Honestly, most of the great employees that you want to attract either have jobs right now, or have plenty of options.
A lot of companies tend to make the barrier to entry too high and the reward too low by requiring applicants to fill out cumbersome application forms before they can even submit a CV. It’s important to have certain qualification metrics in place but by setting the barrier to entry too high you create a negative selection bias.
Instead, make it your goal to facilitate a conversation with the best candidates that are interested in coming to work for you. Why not include a “Work for Us” link on your website, linkedin and social media sites.
If a candidate needs to come by after normal hours, and you think they could be an ideal candidate, then make it happen.
6. Keep the FEELERS out
It’s smart to always be on the look out for talent. Keep a look out on LinkedIn, and at job fairs, expo’s and networking engagements. Sometimes it’s wise to hire a fantastic candidate before you have an opening, for the benefit of your company and to prevent the competition from snagging a real gem. Even if you don’t hire immediately, maintain contact and cultivate the relationships.
7. TRIAL an Intern or Temp Agency
A lot of top employees have started out as temps. One great quality of people willing to temp is that they aren’t afraid to put themselves out there. They want to work, and that’s the first quality you need for a great employee. Almost everything else can be taught.
An internship is also a great low risk way of seeing how much potential a student or recent graduate has in a certain field. You’ll get to see their skills and work ethic as an intern—and can choose to bring them on as a paid employee down the line if they are the perfect fit for your company.
It’s important to remember that you’re only as good as the people on your team. This is especially true of smaller companies that must leverage their people and resources to the fullest extent possible. Follow these tips and your next hire will be one of your most valuable assets.
For more information on how to recruit and manage a high performing team, or if you would like to avail of a complimentary Business Review with one of our top Coaches to uncover ways to grow and improve your business, please fill in your details below and we will be in touch to arrange your appointment: