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Establishing a Culture of Healthy Leadership: The Top 5 Essential Practices

FICS Leadership Principle: Know your Process

Office team collaborating

In our previous issue, we explored the importance of knowing your people—understanding their needs, aspirations, and challenges– to foster a supportive and productive work environment. Effectively engaging with the people you lead is crucial, but healthy leadership involves other areas of focus as well. This month, we explore a second essential practice: understanding and optimizing your organizational processes.

Let’s dive right in!

1. Engage with Direct Reports:

Start by asking each of your direct reports to walk you through their work processes. This step is essential, as it allows you to gain a detailed understanding of the tasks and workflows that your team members handle on a day-to-day basis. By observing and listening, you can identify areas for improvement and provide more targeted support. 

2. Facilitate Collaborative Analysis

Organize a meeting with staff members who perform similar tasks. During this meeting, encourage them to discuss and analyze their work processes collectively. The goal is to combine their best practices into a unified, efficient workflow that effectively meets both staff and client needs. This collaborative effort not only enhances the process but also fosters a sense of ownership and teamwork among your employees.

3. Develop a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)

Once you’ve identified the optimal process, document it in a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). The SOP should outline each step of the new process clearly and concisely, ensuring that all staff members follow the same procedure consistently. This documentation is crucial for maintaining quality and efficiency across the team. 4. Ensure Accountability

Hold your staff accountable for following the new SOP. Accountability is key to ensuring that the new process is implemented correctly and consistently. Regular check-ins and performance reviews can help reinforce the importance of adhering to the SOP and provide opportunities for addressing any challenges or deviations.

5. Monitor and Review Progress

If you have a bricks-and-mortar office, drop in to the department where the process is happening and observe it in action. This hands-on approach allows you to gather real-time feedback, and promptly address any issues. After implementing the new process for 30 days, gather the team together to reflect on the results. Encourage everyone to share their experiences and make any suggestions for improvement that they may have. Update the SOP to reflect any changes and continue this cycle of review and improvement for all your work processes.

Knowing your processes is not a one-time task. Rather, it is an ongoing commitment to continuous improvement. By engaging with your team, fostering collaboration, developing clear SOPs, ensuring accountability, and regularly reviewing progress, you can establish a culture of excellence and efficiency within your organization. This approach not only enhances productivity but also contributes to a healthy, positive work environment where every team member feels valued and empowered.

In the next issue, we will explore the third essential practice: “Know Your Organization”. Stay tuned as we continue to build on these foundational principles to cultivate a culture of healthy leadership.


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