A broken process can cause lengthy delays in getting assignments, from easy to sophisticated, done. But when that process is repeated countless times across your organization, over many years, your organization’s productivity can take a major hit.
Every time it takes 20 minutes to get a password reset, every time new hires can’t start working because they don’t have the right equipment, every time an employee has to rewrite a sales proposal that’s been written many times before, productivity stalls. Sadly, many organizations just ‘put up’ with these problems. Indeed, many are so used to the dysfunctional nature of their organization’s workflows that these lapses in productivity are viewed as simply ‘part of the process’.
Low productivity in the US economy in recent years has been blamed for a range of problems, from stagnant salaries to rising debt. Attacking processes that no longer work – one of the major causes of low productivity – at their source, is surely part of the answer.
Let’s look at how you can overcome broken processes in your organization to boost productivity.
Our study – Definitive Guide to America’s Most Broken Processes – gives unique insight into the problems that arise from putting up with a broken process, and what your organization can do about it.
A Broken Process Should Not Be Ignored
The latest study from Nintex, conducted by an independent third party, surveyed corporate employees across the United States and highlights countless broken processes which have an obvious drain on productivity. Of the employees surveyed:
- 59% report equipment troubleshooting is a broken process
- 55% say onboarding new staff is a broken process
- 57% cite the annual performance review system as a broken process
Simple processes which should be completed quickly within an organization end up taking hours – lost in bureaucracy, email chains and misunderstandings. Whenever employees try to report on a problem, launch a review or initiate any kind of workflow, they have little clarity over when the issue will be resolved or the workflow completed. This leads to frustration, anxiety and stress – and explains why 86% of employees in our survey who say they are looking for a new job, point to broken processes as a principal cause of their dissatisfaction.
Example of a Common Broken Process: Document Approval
One of the most common broken processes – document approval requests – is a major dampener on productivity. 43% of our survey respondents cited this as one of the top broken processes in their organization.
Let’s see how this broken process damages productivity:
- A junior employee emails a project document to their manager and the CFO for review. The finalized document needs to be approved before being sent to a client by the end of the week
- The CFO signs off immediately. However, the manager sees the email in their inbox, but has so much other work on, they forget to reply. Out at meetings all day, the manager never replies or reviews the document
- The junior employee sends a reminder to their boss, but is eventually forced to tell the client the document will be delayed
This broken process, caused by the fact that a single employee is too busy to review a document on a particular day, can have a hugely negative impact on business productivity in the long term. Time is wasted while waiting for approval, the client becomes frustrated and other employees are not able to carry on with the next stage in the project.
How are organizations trying to deal with this problem?
In most organizations, these issues tend to be resolved by expert and motivated individuals going out of their way to solve the problem. If, for instance, Darryl from HR realizes that a new employee has not received the correct employee manual when they should, he will go out of his way to print out the manual and get it in the new employee’s hands.
Thank goodness for Darryl in this scenario. Yet in many organizations, depending on a conscientious member of staff to go above and beyond to catch and resolve a broken process is risky. If that employee is unavailable at any point, the process will inevitably lead to delays and confusion. But more importantly, it’s a huge drag on that person’s time and energy.
Resolving a broken process is so important because:
- It significantly improves delivery times of tasks
- It makes the organization more efficient
- It means you no longer depend so heavily on especially conscientious individuals to get work done
- Employees are less frustrated, and they see their organization as a professional and efficient outfit
Resolving the Broken Process Crisis
Broken processes are undoubtedly a major cause of low productivity and employee frustration today in the United States. In many organizations, a broken process is a problem in plain sight – it’s a daily irritation which people are so used to, they barely notice it any more. Yet the hours of delays these issues cause add up to an enormous drag on productivity.
With Nintex, it has never been easier to automate, optimize and analyze business processes like the ones highlighted in the Definitive Guide to America’s Most Broken Processes. Start today and fix one broken process within your organization – your co-workers will thank you.