Every business is constantly looking for ways to increase efficiency and make operations run more smoothly. Systematization is the implementation of standard operating procedures into your business’ daily tasks. At its simplest, you design and produce a step by step manual to simplify each operation and increase productivity. Systematizing your operations creates a benchmark standard and an easy to follow procedure, which will make staff training easier and will allow you to tweak operations that aren’t running smoothly.
The hardest part of systematizing your business is knowing where to begin, so let’s look at the best places to start:
1. Decide What Systems Are Already Working
Successful businesses that have stood the test of time tend to have some effective systems already established. Whilst you may not have realized that these tasks were systematized already, they have been done the same way for so long that they have become systematized out of habit. Identify the systems in your business that are already in place and are working efficiently. As the old saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Now that you are taking a step back and looking at each operation one by one, you may see some slight adjustment that could be made for an effective well-established operation that would improve it further but be sure not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Systematization is all about problem-solving, so ask your staff if there are any recurring problems that they run into, and see if you can formulate solutions.
2. Identify Daily Recurring Procedures And Break Them Down Into Steps
Cast a keen eye over your daily tasks and identify the tasks that need to be done every day. It is important to remember that no task is too small. By systematizing all the little tasks, your business as a whole will run more smoothly. Break each task down into steps and look closely at the best way to perform each step. You may find that there are some facets of your business that you can do away with. When researching this article we came across this great option which enables your staff to choose their benefits, minimizing the need for a big HR department. If you have been in business for a long time, you may have never considered innovations like this that have been developed in recent years. Ask your employees to note everything they do over the course of a week and make sure they know that you do mean everything. Explain to them that you are trying to find ways to make their jobs more efficient and easier for them to perform, because if they are worried that you are checking upon them, they may add extra tasks to their records which will give you false information.
3. Design A Set Of Standardized Steps For Each Task
Once you have broken each task down into its parts and refined each one, put it back together into a step by step formula that should be followed by your employees every single time. It doesn’t need to be a thick manual or a ten-page script, but it should have clear and simple instructions that will increase productivity and decrease human error. Work out the most effective chain of procedures and set them out in the correct order. Often, we do not notice that task B is much easier to do effectively if it is done only after task A is complete. We have always done them at the same time without realizing the potential for improving the procedure. Try to make each standardized procedure easy to understand and carry out as possible so that it can be introduced with immediate effect.
4. Train Your Employees
The final step is training your employees in using the new formulas to perform their daily duties. You must present the changes in the right way. Your staff may be wary that you are trying to turn them into robots whereas you are trying to make their lives easier. After all, what is good for your business is good for your employees. Make sure that they do not feel criticized by you making changes to things that have been done the same way for years. Explain that just because this is how it has always been done, that does not mean that it is how we will be doing it in the future.
Systematizing your business is a fantastic way to maximize your potential as well as making the jobs of your employees easier and more effective. Start with these tips and you will be well on your way to a more efficient, more successful business.