We all have it…it’s just a matter of recognizing it and understanding how long you and your staff are willing to “deal with the pain”. Some pain is seen as a real problem, while other pain may go unrecognized or ignored until it becomes a serious issue.
Whether real or interpreted by your staff and departments…the operative word is pain. Your objective is to address these pain points, which can hinder or slow the progress of your organization, so you can be more productive, effective and efficient; all of which adds revenue to your bottom line.
As it relates to your document workflow, all business organizations have several pain points. Most, however, may not be recognized because they have found ‘workarounds’ and/or have just grown to live with them. By doing nothing or putting a “Band-Aid” on the pain, you have inadvertently increased your cost, your time or both. Let’s address familiar responses that avoid dealing with the pain points:
- “Our internal processes are rather antiquated however; it is the way we have always done business.”
- “Upper management does not ‘see’ the need to spend the money when they don’t have to deal with the issues on a day to day basis.”
- “We are good with what we have and we don’t see any reason to change.”
- “Our objectives and focus are in other areas of the company.”
Follow these simple steps:
- Get with your department heads; learn to understand what their roles are within the organization and how their department adds value to the organization overall. Remember, you learn more by listening, which will segue nicely into…
- Learn to listen more…be an ‘active’ listener. You can do this by: Asking open-ended questions of your staff
- Engaging in what your departments’ are saying
- Save the clarifying questions for the end; to give your staff and department heads time to answer your open-ended question AND often they will ‘lay out’ the pain points for you.
- Avoid unnecessary interruptions; this can take your team members off track of what they are sharing and then the pain point can easily be missed.
- Remember, the departments might find it difficult to open up and talk initially. We must focus on gleaning the information (pain points) in the most unobtrusive and indirect way possible.
- Once you find out what your departments’ pain points are then you can focus on finding the best solution to solve their problem.
In summary, there is a method putting all these steps together and getting the end result that decision makers are all seeking.
- Determine what your departments are trying to accomplish and what efforts they are going through to accomplish those goals. In other words, what are they struggling with?
- Prove that you understand their issue(s) / pain points
- Express empathy and show that you truly care about their situation
- Learn to focus on your departments’ needs first and then they will open up to you.
- Remember your internal departments are people too. At the end of the day, we all want to help each other be successful.
So find those pain points, because fixing them will add to your bottom line…