There are times businesses take workflows for granted, but it’s important to understand that workflows are not static and what works for one organization may not work for you. Additionally, if you use an application or a system as a tool for your business, these workflows may not be “bulletproof” and you may have to make changes to them in order to help you conduct business more efficiently.
In the end, you’ll need to understand that systems can break and your company’s needs may change, which means so should your processes. Although there is no universal fix for workflow issues, it is crucial that you find solutions to these updates.
Gaps or lags in a workflow can be costly and damaging to your business’ productivity, so it is time to make sure they are helping your business. Here are some possible problems and solutions to workflow issues that you could come across:
Your team may utilize spreadsheets to complete certain tasks. If multiple team members are using different versions of the same spreadsheet, this could cause errors and slow down your processes. This problem can be made even worse when you add additional team members.
How can you solve this issue? First, if version control is an issue with Microsoft Office documents such as Word or Excel, try to use the Office versioning capability to mark the different versions of the document being worked on. Or use an online option such as Google Sheets.
Additionally, it can be difficult to keep track of who has a document if you are using a sign off process. It can be difficult to determine what changes have been made to the document and where it needs to go next. If this is the case, your workflow most likely needs repaired. A simple solution to this is attaching a change log to the end of your document so you can better keep track of where the item has been and what changes have been made.
Central location for information
If managers continuously hear the same questions, this is another sign that your workflow is flawed. Ensure there is a central location where important information is stored. For example, you could create an FAQ guide to help encourage staff to check the system for answers before coming to you.
Another common issue businesses see is high employee turnover. If this is a problem for your company, it could be because staff are frustrated with your outdated processes or feel like their job is difficult due to the current systems in place.
Outdated, difficult processes can leave employees dissatisfied and can create resentment toward the company. As you know, retaining talent is critical if you want to be successful. To deal with this issue, gather employee feedback to see how you can improve the systems you currently have in place.
Communication is key if you want to have a well-oiled machine. Similarly, if you find that your employees are burnt out, this could cause additional work flow issues and projects may not be completed within a timely manner.
Lack of support
It is important your team adopts the new process and is able to work together to complete the task. You need 100% buy-in from leadership and accountability from your staff in order for the new system to be successful. Consider a change management plan when rolling out a new process so that leaders can help you keep everyone accountable.
In conclusion, encourage your staff to share their feedback in order to ensure that your company runs smoothly. Map out workflows and processes using your staff’s input to determine systems to update to make your company run efficiently and have staff eager to perform their work.