January 13, 2016

Improving Employee Satisfaction with Business Process

Many employees are complaining about their jobs. They have to spend too much time on tasks they hate and cannot spend enough time on tasks they love to do. So to increase employee satisfaction it is very important to get rid of those tasks that are making employees unhappy.

In most modern offices employees have to deal with tasks they perceive as bureaucratic, mind numbing or inefficient. Instead of helping customers or creating new products they are wasting their talents on pushing paperwork, endless email chains, scraping information from numerous old systems, waiting for approvals and waiting for answers to questions asked a long time ago.

Business Process Management Systems

Many of these tasks can be done much faster by using Business Process Management Systems. These systems are able to automate much of the bureaucratic aspects of employee tasks and to assist employees in doing their work. Employees working with these systems use a web portal showing them a list of assigned tasks and a menu to create new cases, new work for themselves or for other employees.

For many reasons, these systems can improve employee satisfaction and efficiency enormously:

No paperwork: All documents are stored in the BPM system and are tagged according to a process model. Because of this, all participants can easily share documents on the same process. It is no longer required to lookup numerous different documents from different sources.

No email chains: All task routing is organized according to the workflow process. When an employee needs help or approval from another employee the workflow process creates a new task and assigns it automatically to the other person. Because all relevant information and documents are attached to the process instance, no time is being wasted by emails or meetings to transfer this information.

These systems are also able to send reminders or assign tasks to other persons when the assignee is not available or is too busy, which also helps to reduce the number of email chains.

Cockpit view: Most employees are experts on a number of subjects. Given the right information they can take the right actions for complicated cases. BPM platforms can collect information from numerous backend applications and show this in a user-friendly view to the employee. Without a good cockpit view employees lose a lot of time gathering the needed information.

Why aren’t we all working with workflow systems?

Despite the obvious advantages of BPM systems there are still many companies organizing their office work the old way. I believe there are two main reasons for this:

Management underestimates the costs of bureaucratic and inefficient work

Unfortunately, the gap between management and employees is often very high. Because of this, it can be difficult for directors to realize how much time employee’s waste by doing tasks inefficiently.

IT officers overestimate the complexity and costs of BPM systems 

Currently, there are many BPM platforms. Many IT officers do not realize that there are so many BPM platforms and only focus on the big vendors. The platforms of these big vendors can be very powerful but are also very expensive and complex and for these reasons can be a very risky investment.

The art is to select the right BPM system given the size of the company and the complexity of their business processes such that there is a quick return of investment.

My mission

I am convinced that bureaucracy and inefficiency are key reasons for employees to be dissatisfied about their jobs. In my next blogs I will collect examples of bureaucratic and inefficient office work and explain in more detail how BPM systems can help to get rid of them. I hope these blogs will help directors to understand what can be done with BPM systems and how they can make their employees happier.

I invite you to help me with this mission. If you know a few nice examples of a horrible office work, which can be easily improved by using BPM systems please send an email to [email protected]