Watching the Workflow
“Oh, this ol’ river keeps on rollin’, though
No matter what gets in the way and which way the wind does blow
And as long as it does I’ll just sit here
And watch the river flow”
– Bob Dylan
Ideal Environments Breed Ideal Employees and Owners
Maybe it’s just me but it’s hard not to think of Bob Dylan’s classic “Watching the River Flow” every single time we discuss the concept of workflow. And we talk about workflow management and business process a lot at Volano Solutions. Building software systems that create accountability, accuracy, efficiency and transparency are hallmarks of what we do. Our work helps yours move faster and with fewer errors. So what does good workflow management have to do with good employees? The answer is a lot.
When Gallup decided in the early 1990s to look at all aspects of work life in the context of how each drove concrete performance, their findings were not surprising. The common denominator to productive, engaged employees was clarity regarding their job expectations. Conversely, when employees were not clear on expectations, production suffered as did job satisfaction. Unhappy employees tend to breed negativity and we’ve all worked at that place before.
Clarity and Accountability
Each of our workflow applications begins with a home page of work queues where the expectations of the work to be completed are clearly displayed to the user. These queues set the expectation to which each employee is accountable and as they complete their work, it flows to the next person in the group so that they can complete the portion that falls in their wheelhouse. When everyone can see this status, and your staff knows what they need to do, conversations can be focused on more important things. Higher level things. What is the best way to handle this specific work item? Who has the bandwidth to take on a project? What you’re not talking about or asking each other is “where are we at with?” and “what is the status of?” Your customers win and your employees know how their day needs to go. You don’t want to be the one slowing the funnel down and that’s the accountability piece.
In this piece by the Nielson Group , role clarity is critical in job satisfaction. They go beyond job satisfaction and productivity and talk about overall personal satisfaction and recommend auditing the time spent at work doing tasks that directly pertain to your defined role versus time spent on other tasks that do not. The extent to which the 80-20 rule slides is a great predictor of lost productivity and job dissatisfaction. Our focus is on helping reinforce defined roles in your daily processes through workflow management software.
Field Audits and Site Inspections
When Volano created our mobile compliance software app Action Card, our intent was to take role clarity and defined processes into the field. Communication is at the heart of driving consistency in processes and standards and mult-unit companies struggle to manage and scale this as they grow. When our clients and field managers inspect their locations for compliance to their defined brand standards, they are ensuring that the message is getting pushed down to their owners and location managers, whether they’re restaurants or wireless dealers. When people know what they’re being held accountable for, they are better at doing the daily tactics that get them there. The big idea is that driving this consistency in a positive, collaborative way creates a greater culture of accountability and job satisfaction at your organization that will ultimately translate to a better experience for your customers.