The only thing worse than following standards and processes is being the person who has to create and enforce them (cue the police sirens!). Here are some tips on creating maintaining standards and processes to facilitate easy adoption and acceptance of them in your organization.

Explain “Why”

It can be difficult to want to follow instructions if they seem unnecessary. Explaining why specific standards or processes are in place and what functions they serve can make all the difference. The simple process of explaining why certain instructions or actions are important can speed up adoption and improve attitude. In addition, when people know the “why” behind the standard, they tend to remember to follow it more frequently.

Clearly Train the Staff

Worse than not wanting to follow standards and processes is not understanding how to follow standards and processes. How often have you been asked to follow arbitrary or confusing instructions? This is often caused by old, outdated documentation. Holding regular and clear trainings for the staff is a great way to increase understanding and comprehension, not to mention it forces you to keep the documentation up to date.

Highlight the Benefits

Ideally, a good standard or process should be designed to be efficient. Whether it reduces double entry or increases reporting capabilities (or whatever other reason_, the benefit of it should be clearly highlighted. Doing this can cause a standard or process to go from hated to appreciated. Of course, if you find it has no benefit you should probably rethink it entirely!

Accept Feedback… Positively

Whether you like it or not, people interacting with your standards and processes will have feedback about them. Feedback should be accepted, welcomed, and taken in positively. With an open mind, good feedback will point you in the right direction for necessary revisions. Not all feedback can or will need to be incorporated in to revised standards and processes, but often times people will feel better just knowing their feedback is heard.

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