The People Side of Getting Your Systems Right
I probably don’t have to tell you that finding and keeping people can be difficult in our current business environment. NBC news reported in October of 2021 that “The U.S. now has more job openings than any time in history”. The number of open jobs topped 10 million a few months earlier.
Another curious number in the article was that 8.7 million people are still looking for work. What exactly are they looking for? Why are these positions unfilled? People are also quitting their jobs in record number.
One of the lessons from these people challenges is that we must do everything we can to keep the people we have. Another lesson is that we must be the best company that we can be so that we attract the best people to our business.
At Thesis Technologies, we believe one of the ways to keep and attract the right people is to get your business systems right. Here is what I mean:
Get your systems right
When business systems are not right, people get frustrated. We recently published an article that was called How to Know if Your Systems Are Not Right which provides a checklist of system problems that can cause issues in your company. One of the signs of system problems is frustrated people. They are frustrated because they spend way too much time on meaningless tasks, or they just can’t get the information they need to do their job without a ton of effort. On the other side of this coin, when business systems are well designed and efficient to use, people can spend more of their time doing the job you hired them to do. When people can contribute in meaningful ways, it tends to create a very satisfying work environment. The relationship between technology and people is something to pay attention to in your business. This is particularly true in this difficult staffing environment. Here are two concrete ways that getting your systems right can make a big difference with your people:
Engage your people by freeing them from useless tasks
Given the technology available to businesses today, here are some examples of useless tasks that should be considered a waste of your people’s time:
- Entering the same data in two different systems.
- Sorting through two versions of the same data to determine which is correct.
- Manually entering data when it could be automated.
- Verifying data because you can’t trust the numbers.
- Time consuming analysis because the system can’t give you the answer you need.
- Reacting to problems after they occur because your systems didn’t give you a heads up.
- Dealing with inefficient processes because systems are inflexible and hard to change.
- Waiting until you are “back in the office” to give an answer to your customer.
If people are forced to deal with these types of issues every day, work can become a grind. If the goal is to have fully engaged people, we need to free them from these tasks so they can focus on making an impact. Bad systems make administrative assistants out of everyone. This is an unacceptable situation if you are trying to build a work environment that retains and attracts great people.
Empower your people to act with real-time business insights
Another benefit of great business systems is that they provide real-time business insights. We published an article recently called Analysis vs. Instant Insights which describes how business systems should provide you with the right insights instantly. The alternative to instant insights is often time-consuming analysis. If getting data from your systems requires analysis, you sacrifice the ability to act quickly and decisively. When people have the right information and insights at their fingertips, they are empowered to act with confidence. Empowered people tend love their jobs because they make great contributions toward the mission of their team. These contributions drive success. Winning is fun and it’s a great way to keep and attract great people.
Technology is really about people. When your business systems are right, you engage your people by freeing them from useless tasks and empowering them to act with real-time business insights. At Thesis Technologies, we believe getting your systems right is a great people retention and attraction strategy.