Practical HRO: Optimizing Operational Risk Management using High Reliability Organizing
HRO & Corona 1 Small Thing - Get Ahead of the Curve with Processes
April 06, 2020
Edward J Tierney
You have team members that you are trying to keep employed while they juggle childcare or whose roles are so radically altered by working from home that they have capacity to own process review work. Utilize these human resources to organize and update the backbone of your operations.
HRO TIP - Use Remote Work Staff to Improve/Write processes
One thing that every contributor can do while working remotely is review the processes and work instructions that define the tasks and the workflow within their department and across departments.
If you have never developed processes or work instructions, now is the time to start. All any employee has to do to begin the process is document the steps that they take to achieve any particular outcomes.
If you want your working culture to adopt an aptitude for continuous improvement, you have to cultivate it. Operational reforms are most effective and the least disruptive when they empower, recognize contributor’s expertise and make sense. Common pitfalls and obstacles companies put in front of their staff include:
- No role in creating the processes that define their work.
- You do not recognize your people as experts if you do not allow them a role and a voice in defining their work.
- If a process is being followed, but it isn’t working, I guarantee you that the team that runs that process knows why it isn’t producing the desired impact.
- Not every employee is qualified to review company policy, but every employee should have a critical role in reviewing and designing processes and work instructions that define their functions.
Now is the time, seize the moment to attend to all of those big needs that never get the attention that they deserve. A simple set of bullet points will lay a solid foundation. Applying resources towards process reviews is an investment in achieving uncommon outcomes when everyone returns back to work.
Keep the ask simple.
- Have the teams identify the processes that need updating. Pop the processes up on a collaborative site that allows multiple users to work together on shared documents in real time.
- Ask for very practical feedback:
- Is the process clunky or difficult to follow?
- Does the process produce the intended objective? Can they define the objective?
- Are employees using new technologies that the process doesn’t acknowledge? Has the department grown, adding new roles and functions that aren’t identified?
- And finally, once the review is finished, request that all comments, notes, and recommendations are submitted to one “owner” that will set a date somewhere down the line, when we aren’t combating a crisis, to organize process development pow-wow that gets the updates into practice.