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Get Input into Business Process Improvement Projects

And Get Your Employees Engaged in the Initiative!

Reaching out to employees to get input into business process improvement projects enables for a number of benefits for both the organization and the employees. Consider that business process improvement projects are not easy to implement! Even what appears to be a simple initiative – involving only one department or workgroup – is often more challenging than expected. Table 1 provides a number of benefits for both the organization and the employees when the BPI project sponsor ensures that there is broad engagement from across the organization in framing the BPI project.

Benefits to Organization

Benefits to Employees

  • Engaged employees
  • Strengthening of relationships between leaders and employees
  • Increased communication and collaboration
  • Input into BPI project
  • More likely to identify challenges with BPI project
  • Increased success of BPI project
  • Input into changes to ensure BPI project is successful and meets needs
  • Ability to share ideas, suggestions and discuss challenges
  • Improved communication and collaboration
  • Insight into the organization priorities
  • Ability to have some control over own job and how it is done

Table 1: Benefits to Organization and its Employees

Let’s look at a brief example of getting employees engaged.

An Example

Background Information

Given the significant growth they have had over the last year, All Company Training decided they needed to take a look at their current processes and determine where improvements might be made. The goal was to reduce the time from conception to launch of new training programs. Although the executives would have liked to have started the project immediately, based on past experiences with such BPI initiatives, they knew that getting those employees who would be most impacted involved early on would help them frame a more successful BPI initiative. The goal of the initiative to be launched was to reduce the time from conception to launch from a current of, on average, 6 – 8 months to 3 – 4 months. The CEO told his senior staff that he was certain that employees would have a number of ideas on how to improve the process and he was excited about getting them engaged.

Reaching out to Employees

The CEO sent an email to all employees explaining the organization’s goal of reducing time from conception to launch of new training programs. In the email communication, the CEO asked each employee to provide 2 – 3 ideas of how to reduce the time for the process of conception of an idea to launch of a new training program. He also asked for any concerns or challenges that the employees could think of that the leadership team may not realize. These ideas, as well as concerns, would be used, he noted, to plan the BPI project including determining resource needs and timing.  The CEO provided a number of channels for providing ideas as well as bringing up concerns or challenges, including:

  • Via an online survey tool (which can be used for anonymous input if preferred)
  • Via focus group sessions
  • During department meetings
  • Via a collaboration portal
  • Via “suggestion boxes” placed throughout the office in various location (for anonymous input)
  • One-on-one with the CEO

The CEO gave one month to provide feedback. At the end of that time, he would analyze all the data provided and report back to the group.

The Data Received and Next Steps

After reviewing the data, the CEO found a number of ideas that would help in reducing the time from conception of an idea to launching a new program. Employees also shared a number of concerns and challenges. He shared all of this information back to the staff along with a note of appreciation for the input.

Based on the input he received, he decided to delay the start of the BPI project for one month while the executive team worked to address the concerns and challenges that were brought up by employees. The CEO also asked for 8 – 10 employees to help in working with the executives to evaluate the best approach to ensure concerns and challenges were addressed and ideas suggested were evaluated and prioritized.

In Summary…

As can be seen in this brief example, rather than immediately kicking off the BPI initiative, employees were engaged through a number of channels that enabled them to provide feedback on the initiative – whether positive or negative. By asking for input from employees, and utilizing that input prior to launching the BPI initiative, employees are more engaged – they feel valued and feel a sense of control over the changes that will impact them.

Investing time to get employees involved prior to, at the start of and throughout implementation of BPI projects increases the likelihood that employees will adopt the change – which increases the success of the BPI initiative.

Want to Learn More?

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