Looking at Process Management Through a Human Lens Can Improve Outcomes by Peter McInally

Business process management and “transformation” mean different things to different people and different businesses. We are all navigating a global business environment that is subject to disruption, uncertainty and market turbulence.

When asked to prioritize a wishlist of outcomes when it comes to process transformation, the number one concept associated with your role is, most likely, achieving breakthrough value. Your business’ wishlist may look like a list of business objectives centering around efficiency, profitability and quality. Many might also prioritize customer experience, which is a great place to start when putting humans at the center of your business as we discussed in a previous blog, but there’s something – or someone – missing: Your workforce.

We all spend a huge proportion of our lives at work, and if that work isn’t fulfilling it can be nothing short of depressing.

There is a worldwide employee engagement crisis.

According to a study by Gallup, 85% of U.S. employees are either not engaged or are actively disengaged at work. That dismal fact correlates with another dismal fact that this is a global norm, and it translates to an estimated $7 trillion in lost revenue.

This downward trend in global workforce engagement shows that we are getting it wrong. Very wrong. The Gallup study showed that 67% of employees are “not actively engaged”, which means in real terms that they aren’t your worst performers, but nor are they your superstars.

These “not actively engaged” personnel show up, they work, maybe they want to give you their best but perhaps they haven’t been given the tools to do that. Maybe these “not actively engaged” workers haven’t been developed to their full potential, or simply haven’t been asked what needs to happen to achieve more.

The cost of employee disengagement

Employee engagement has a domino effect on performance outcomes in both directions. The impact extends to:

  • Recruitment and retention costs
  • Lost productivity
  • Lost revenue
  • Lost profitability
  • Lack of innovation
  • Negative impact on customer experience and the consequences thereof

The potential impact of improved employee engagement on the bottom line is significant

When compared with business units in the bottom quartile of Gallup’s database, those in the top quartile of engagement realize 10% higher customer metrics, 17% higher productivity, 20% higher sales and 21% higher profitability. Organizations at the top achieve earnings per share growth that is more than four times that of their competitors.

Employee engagement is a modern-day metric, one that is often poo-pooed in boardrooms as “entitlement” and a trend towards “laziness” influenced by a largely millennial workforce. Isn’t it entirely logical, though, that how engaged and committed a workforce is would have a direct impact on productivity, now a key business performance metric?

Employee engagement is more than just an HR issue

We need to think about what it is that truly impacts employee engagement in order to improve it.

If employee engagement is so intrinsically linked to productivity, and the best way to increase productivity is through streamlined business processes, that just so happens to be business process management’s forte.

Involving your employees in the development and implementation of workflow management is the unexpected link between business process management and employee engagement.

Across your business, there will be at least one and probably multiple processes that disengage your staff, that make their working day that bit more difficult or make them feel undervalued. Since frustration is the mother of invention, it’s time to discover what those processes are and invent new ones.

When mapping processes, ensuring that part of process discovery is asking or actively listening to your workforce about how and why things are happening the way they are and what that means for them.

Collaboration with the people in your business can help you build process maps and identify bottlenecks, frustrations and opportunities that even automated process mining capabilities cannot.

Software to cover all bases

Our process modeling capability allows you to analyze the complex interactions between people, processes and technology. This, in turn, can help you to plan and execute transformations that improve the performance and health of your business and the people who work within it.

We incorporate industry-standard business process model notation (BPMN 2.0), master data, robust metrics and reporting to provide in-depth analysis and insight into how your business works. This goes beyond offering a visual overview of your processes. With its strong collaboration and documentation capabilities, BusinessOptix gives multiple stakeholders the ability to provide input and perspectives into what currently defines your business, and where your business collectively wants to be in the future.

Opportunities for Designing Informed Process Change

With scenario modeling and simulation capabilities, your organization can take advantage of the opportunity to essentially beta-test new processes and optimize process change before going live, reducing operational upheaval for your workforce.

Our documentation capabilities can also deliver clear and concise updated work instructions to the people who need them quickly and efficiently.

Listening to your staff, valuing them and making changes designed to make their lives easier will pay dividends in multiple business performance metrics. The right tool can help you put people at the core of your business, and enable you to reap the rewards.

For more understanding of how the BusinessOptix solution can help you achieve all your transformation goals, let our expert team show the capabilities in a demo, or set you up with a free trial. Contact us today!