New Research Exposes Link Between Staff Morale and Broken Business Processes

Staff morale suffers when a business functions slowly and inefficiently, and where it feels like there is little transparency. Employees get confused, decisions seem unfair, and people get frustrated by a disorganized system.

Imagine working at a company like this:

  • Whenever you have a small IT problem, it takes hours to resolve
  • When you want to request annual leave, it is rejected many days later with no explanation
  • Simple admin tasks, such as onboarding a new hire or preparing for your annual review, either don’t happen or are never completed

It seems intuitively true that in an organization where these kinds of processes are delayed and opaque, staff morale would take a hit. Employees become frustrated with the business, at how it’s run and their own ability to do their best work.

A new Nintex study has established a clear link between staff morale and broken processes.

Download the ebook, Definite Guide to America’s Most Broken Processes, here.

Now, let’s explore the findings and see why broken processes impact on staff morale.

Impact of Broken Processes on Your People and Your Org’s Bottom-Line

Nintex commissioned a third-party research firm to survey 1,000 employees across industries and departments in corporate America to find out which company processes were broken, and what effect this had on people.

By ‘broken process’ we mean any business process—from contacting IT support to reviewing a document to performing annual reviews—which suffers from unnecessary delays and breakdowns. We wanted to find out what impact these broken processes had on staff morale, among other questions.

The results were striking:

  • Of the employees who told us they were actively looking for new jobs, 86% said their company’s broken processes were a factor behind the decision.
  • In particular, younger workers and millennials are more likely to blame poor processes for their desire to leave their job.
  • Dissatisfied workers are more likely to point to specific processes as being broken. For instance, 72% of these job seekers say IT processes are broken, while only 58% of those who are happy in their jobs say IT processes are failing.

These results highlight a clear link between employees who work at businesses with broken processes and their desire to leave. We can conclude that poor processes result in high employee turnover and low staff morale.

To put this into focus:

  • Research shows that replacing an employee costs between 6 and 9 months’ salary, on average.
  • Low staff morale is incredibly expensive, with one Gallup poll estimating the US economy takes a $350bn hit each year due to absenteeism and low productivity.

Eliminate Broken Processes to Boost Staff Morale

If broken processes are a major cause of low staff morale, fixing these processes should obviously be part of the solution. This is, of course, easier said than done:

  • In many businesses, people are simply used to a dysfunctional approach to getting work done, so they do not even recognize they have a problem.
  • Improving processes often entails a change in culture, which makes staff resistant.
  • Senior management may be aware that there are some broken processes, but see these as only minor issues.

So, how can you eliminate the damage to staff morale caused by broken processes?

  1.  First, you need to acknowledge the problem. Many businesses have become so used to their broken processes, they simply don’t see them as a problem anymore. Collect feedback from your staff about the processes they struggle with at your organization, including IT delays, administrative processes or career advancement.
  2.  Next, you need to map out these processes and discover what’s going wrong. Is information not being communicated to the right people at the right time? Do certain processes depend on sending emails that get lost in someone’s inbox? Are you still dependent on sending around paper files to collect information which can easily get lost?
  3.  Once you’ve discovered the source of broken processes, you need to sit down with your teams to work out a way to resolve them. In some cases, it could be as simple as improving a single step, or informing people of a new email address to send inquiries to. In other cases, it could involve a wholesale redesign of your processes, including automating many of the steps and fundamentally rethinking how you perform these processes.

Improve (Automate) Your Processes and Retain Your People

The Definitive Guide to America’s Most Broken Processes highlights a clear link between broken internal processes and low staff morale. Employees at organizations with many broken processes suffer from high staff turnover and all the costs that entails—from low productivity to the cost of replacement to a poor reputation.

Improving staff morale can have a huge impact on your employee retention rate, while also making your teams more productive – and your business more profitable.

Nintex is the recognized global leader in workflow and content automation (WCA) with more than 7,500 enterprise clients and 1,700 partners in 90 countries who have built and published millions of workflow applications. With its unmatched breadth of capability and platform support delivered by unique architectural capabilities, Nintex empowers the line of business and IT departments to quickly automate hundreds of manual processes to progress on the journey to digital transformation. Nintex Workflow Cloud®, the company’s cloud platform, connects with all content repositories, systems of record, and people to consistently fuel successful business outcomes.

 

Download the ebook to learn more about the most broken processes in corporate America.

Kristin Treat

Kristin Treat serves as the senior director of corporate communications at Nintex. She has more than 20 years of marketing communications experience at high-growth technology organizations and global PR firms. Kristin is relentless about creating and executing programs that deliver impactful results. Follow her on Twitter @KristinTreat.