When a company grows to a certain size, it becomes necessary to do what every startup entrepreneurs hates, build processes and implement policies. After all, many of us became entrepreneurs after spending time at large organizations riddled with problems and inefficiencies stemming from stiff or inflexible policies and processes. And now we face a situation where we ourselves see the need to implement them in our organization.
A recent (very, very bad) customer service interaction with Freelancer.com highlighted once again how difficult building these processes and policies is and how easily your organization might end up becoming one of those process-riddled monsters you wished to escape in the first place.
First, and most importantly, you should realize that the goal of any process or policy you create should not be to restrict what your employees can do, but rather use processes and policies to help your employees understand the minimum that is expected of them in any given situation. Rather than using them as a cap, use them as the bar you expect each employee to exceed.
Secondly, if you can’t be or have not been in charge or developing w particular policy, test drive the ones built by others. Act as someone “on the other side” of that policy, whether a customer (eg. customer service process) or employee (HR policy). Create a difficult situation and ask the builder of the policy in question to act according to the policy they’ve built. Any shortcomings in that policy will become painfully clear even to them.
Last, but not least ask people in your organization what they feel about the process or policy. If you’ve taken care of your hiring and hired great people around you, you’re bound to get feedback if your policy or process is stupid.
It still amazes me that in 2016 companies Freelancer.com or so many companies like it out there, nodissatisfaction runs rabid.