Some of us are process persons, others not so much. The chances are that if you are working in marketing or sales you’re not the most passionate process person. If you’re working in, say, finance or customer support, you may find processes useful. Believe it or not, some even find them exciting.
Many times, the attitude towards processes goes all the way to the emotional level – you either love or hate them. From a growth company perspective, processes are inevitable. They are the shared rules that define how you work together, having a major effect on how profitable the business is. That is why you have to make sure that the processes exist and they are engaging.
Engagement and process defined
“Engagement” – sounds like, yet another, trendy buzzword you hear in business. You know, the words that sound good, but no one really understands what they mean. Engagement is, in fact, not in the "empty business slang with no content" category. It actually means something.
To summarize the definitions from Business Dictionary, Merriam-Webster and Wikipedia, "engagement" is about getting the best out of your employees and other stakeholders by:
- Catching one’s attention
- Attracting one to participate to do something
- Creating an emotional connection between the participants
- Understanding how a specific task connects to a greater meaning
A process is an attention catcher. It requires participation and often creates an emotional connection. The true test of how engaging a process is how well people understand the connection between the process and the greater meaning it links to. The greater meaning behind the processes is that they are built to make life easier and business more profitable.
However, in some rare situations the process can do more harm than good – and in such times, you should make a collaborative decision not to follow the process.
How to engage people in process?
Understanding the connection between a process and the reasons it exists is not always evident. Those who have been in the company before the process and the ones who have participated in creating the process easily understand why it’s needed and when not to follow the process.
However, the people who have joined the organization later don’t have this shared experience. For these newcomers, you have to have a compelling story about the importance of the process. The story should describe not only the importance of the process, but also the value of being flexible about the process, when it results in a better return for the business.
Three ways to ensure that the process is engaging:
- Ensure that people see the need to agree on a new way of working together.
- Engage (pun intended) your employees in creating the process together.
- Create a good story you can tell to newcomers. Make sure the story includes the need to follow the process, but also describes the rare circumstances which suggest it’s better to disregard the process and find a more creative approach.
Not exactly sure how to co-create processes and get people engaged?Subscribe to our blog on the right upper corner to know more about how to use co-creation and engagement in leadership.