It’s not laziness, and it’s certainly not because they don’t care. Your people, either consciously or intuitively, know when a process is ineffective or inefficient, and they also know when those processes are hurting your customers’ experience. People deviate from a defined business process, because the majority of the time, it’s either the best thing to do, or the right thing to do for the customer and the business.
Look around your workplace. Chances are 99% of your people take pride in their work and genuinely care about the result for their customers… hopefully more than 99%. If you ask them why they don’t follow a certain process, expect to hear “…that process doesn’t make sense”; “…it doesn’t work with that scenario”; “…the process is more about us doing business with ourselves, than with the customer”, “…it’s just not an efficient process” or variations thereof. They deviate because they care, and to make your business better.
Over the last 15 years I’ve polled countless people as to the reasons why the focus on process fails to resonate with them, and overwhelmingly they respond that:
- processes are often designed in a way that stifles their ability to provide ‘the best outcome’ for the customer in front of them,
- processes that consider only a single planned outcome can disempower staff, and poorly designed processes contribute significantly to disengagement, and
- processes designed with “efficiency” in mind, often shut out autonomous decision making and discretion that could be applied to resolve process-customer conflict on the spot.