Why workflows matter.
Nobody is perfect. No company is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes.
All true, but how can people (even the person not “in charge”) make things better? Over the years I have been fortunate to work for a number of companies that have given me opportunities to explore who I was, learn, appreciate what I wanted to do, and realize what I was good at.
I appreciate that doing things over and over again leads to mistakes and when working with a lot of data or information, we all can “fat finger” something. That led me to consider using tools and processes to limit issues that often arise when working with lots of bits of (generally disparate) data.
Good tools, communication and automation all have helped me make data more valuable and accurate. When I have worked with smaller organizations, (100 employees on average) many things are still done by the person that knows the most about it, not always the person best suited for the task.
When someone is hired, what is the workflow, who do they talk to, how do they get onboarded and in what ways is the process encouraging and exciting for the new employee? What about when someone has a problem (in my world) with technology? Do they drop an email, SLACK message or (in days past) just ask it during lunch or when passing in the hall.
A few practical experiences I’d like to share. For onboarding, gather the critical information and make sure that gets to the next necessary person in a timely fashion. I do not know how often I have been told someone is starting in the morning without any other information — that leads to frustration and often mistakes and the person unable to do their work effectively.
I have used Google Forms and Zendesk (helpdesk) ask the questions and create a ticket in the system to make sure we have the necessary information AND can act on it in a timely fashion. I have also used tools like SweetHawk’s tasks plug in for Zendesk to generate tasks and work through the necessary steps.
The other big benefit of this process is the ability to share in the workload. I am not the only person that knows about this. I may start the ticket, update some key information and then delegate the tasks and next steps to the appropriate staff person.
With (accurate) information in hand, with methods of communicating, and little preparation, any person can join an organization with minimal impact and feel prepared and welcomed.
Using the information in Google Forms, Sheets and Zendesk I could customize a welcome sheet (from a template) and hand that to them with their laptop on day one. Walk them through some basics and let them get to work. People felt seen and heard and when it comes to doing what I do for a living (technology), that is critical.