Red tape getting in the way of a good performance.

Yesterday’s blog was about time and people preventing a good performance, today it is about having the right system in place to support a good performance.

Having systems and procedures is usually a good thing. Having systems in place for when things go wrong is key if staff are to take responsibility for putting things right without having to come running to you all the time e.g. dealing with customer complaints, wrong deliveries, faulty equipment.

Give people training in the systems. If they don’t know what the system is, or, just as importantly understand why you have it, they wont follow it. And I include in here IT systems. How often have you seen someone doing something longhand because they don’t know how to do it on a computer system in which you’ve invested £’000s?

Ensure that everyone works by the same set of ‘rules’ or systems; there is nothing more frustrating than seeing someone else do something that you are ‘not allowed to do’. But, don’t be so bound by red tape that people can’t use their initiative and take control of situations when needed.

It’s important to review your systems from time to time. Are they achieving what they set out to do, or are they leading to frustration and bottlenecks? Talk to the people who actually use the systems to check this, as often you may not be aware of any issues. Staff will normally come up with the best way to resolve it, if you allow them.

So next time we feel like blaming the workman, just reflect for a moment.  – Is it the workman that’s at fault, or is it down to a lack of the right resources – equipment, products, time, people or systems. Or do you have the right resources and the right people, but failed to provide the right training to get the best from each other?

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