If you have an effective process in place, follow it.
Processes exist for a reason. Many times it’s to demonstrate that proper care and attention is being taken in reaching an end result.
So when an organization creates a process, it’s important to respect it and allow the process to happen. Otherwise, why have the process at all? Of course, if the process is verkakte, you have other issues. But, that’s another post.
Here are a couple of common examples of processes that get ignored:
The human resources department has a hiring process. It includes posting open positions internally before looking externally. Occasionally, time is of the essence and HR will post internally and look externally at the same time, but an offer to an outside candidate isn’t made until after internal candidates are given an opportunity to apply.
The purchasing department has a vendor selection process. It includes notifying vendors about opportunities and gathering bids – a very common practice in public entities, associations, etc. Purchasing might let a specific vendor know an opportunity exists, but they still follow the process and give everyone equal access to express interest.
If a company doesn’t follow their prescribed processes, the person who gets hurt is the individual or company selected. Here’s what I mean using the processes above:
The new employee who gets hired from the outside is viewed as sucking up to HR and bypassing the hiring process to get a job. It’s a shame because they probably don’t even realize that internal candidates weren’t given the opportunity to apply. But they become the topic of lunchroom conversation and a target for criticism.
The consultant who lands the contract is excited to get a piece of business. Little do they realize that, behind the scenes, people are wondering what backroom deal they made to get the contract.
Chances are in both cases, the person/company selected did nothing wrong. They were just following what they were told is the right process. It’s more likely they were a pawn in some kind of internal political game. Because , if the external candidate was the right person for the job, they would get hired anyway. And if the consultant was the best one for the project…they’d get the contract.
And what about the individuals in the company who don’t follow their own processes? Well, people view them as being sneaky and trying to get away with something. Even if they’re not. It could be a simple mistake. But people’s perceptions (right or wrong) become realities.
I know sometimes it can be a pain to follow processes and rules. But in some cases, taking the time and care to follow the rules can save your organization and the people/partners you choose a lot of misunderstandings and grief in the end.
Image courtesy of Damien Basile