This is an original article by Scott Rempala, President of Mighty Hook and member of IMEC's Board of Directors.
It’s fashionable these days to promote corporate culture as a means to ensure long-term business growth. Promoting is one thing, but making culture a priority requires a systematic approach that permeates everything a business does. We refer to our systematic approach as PTP—Process, Training, and People.
The PTP pillars are related to one another and support one another. For instance, the people form and dictate the processes as much as the processes direct the people. And defining the processes that will work efficiently for your business requires looking closely at all your operations holistically.
Review Your Processes
Many companies lose efficiency because they add new processes on top of existing processes, creating a “layered” system that is no system at all. To achieve your goals, your processes must be fundamentally sound and integrated. And refining your processes can be disruptive because you often have to strip them down to their “skeletons,” or the most important elements.
If you believe your processes are not achieving your goals efficiently, you should take the time to reconsider them through a lean manufacturing model. This exercise always reveals insights into why you are doing what you are doing, how it makes sense or does not make sense, and steps you can take to gain efficiencies.
Revisit Your Training
In order to hit goals you have to set goals. Once they are set, training is essential to get started on the right track and stay on the right track. We like to set up mentoring programs that are one-to-one and purpose-driven.
Up front, it’s critical to make expectations attainable, define goals clearly, and communicate the steps that will achieve those goals. Care must be taken so that the training resonates with the individual that is being mentored. When it resonates, your corporate culture will remain healthy long-term, building future mentors and leaders in the process.
Revive Your People
Of course, it’s your people that fuel your corporate culture. They are the reason you spend the time and effort reviewing processes and revisiting training. But do you always know who are the “right” people for your culture?
To me it all boils down to what we call “engagement.” When employees are engaged, they are more productive and feed that productivity back into your efficient processes. There are three critical factors in finding the right people:
1. Do they get it? Do they understand how the processes and training are defined, and the implications of their role?
2. Do they want it? Is their “buy-in” more than just talk? Because actions always speak louder than words.
3. Do they have the capacity? Do they possess the qualities and abilities to understand, become engaged, and follow through?
Realign Your PTP
One way to illustrate proper alignment of Processes, Training, and People is by looking at how we define success in customer service. Our service staff promote a blend of products and services for the coating services industry, including everything from paint racking equipment to operations process improvement.
In customer service, we do not define success by the number of orders we receive. We define success by how much our customers feel that we value our relationships with them. And when we look at metrics, we don’t just look at on-time delivery. Metrics are always defined by the specific process we are looking at. For instance, we look at how efficiently our sales are aligned with our production and revenue goals, and how we are meeting the goals of all stakeholders.
Corporate culture thrives when you can realign your Processes, Training, and People so that your business is more than just a means to an end. Personal relationships are the foundation of any great business. And efficiency is not measured in isolation, but in how it is contributing to long-term, sustainable growth.
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