A quick definition to start with. Best practice: finding or creating the best method to complete a task. Often used in terms of business to describe a way of working effectively and efficiently, using techniques or policies that everyone can follow.
The ethos is that if everyone in your organisation follows the same steps to complete the task, they would achieve the same result. Best practice is reliable, consistent and trustworthy, so it stands to reason that adopting it would improve your business operations from lead to after-sales service.
A caveat: Best practice is not set in stone and is not designed to repress creativity or personalities within an organisation. These are things that bring interest and innovation to an organisations practice!
How to introduce best practice for processes
Look at your team and your customers. Is there a pain point within the working practices that produces too many variables? Is there disconnect? Does your data show inefficiencies or a drop in performance? Have your employees brought something up during reviews or team meetings? Is customer communication lacking, or is satisfaction reduced after particular comms?
The first thing to do is identify the need
Your people and your data are the best places to look for the need for improvement. By identifying poor performance towards a specific goal, you can pinpoint the need for best practice methods to be introduced to the process.
For example: How do your team react to a new lead? Do some employees prefer to use email or telephone to follow up? Is one method more effective than the other? Highlighting the most effective method of following up and importantly recording it and training employees in using it, is best practice.
Review and adapt
Using benchmarking and regular data reviews will show you any improvements (or otherwise) in the results following the introduction of best practice. This is a vital step to ensuring that it’s working and that everyone is following.
Innovate and improve
I mentioned creativity and personality earlier because I believe it’s important for a leader and entrepreneur to ‘be a magpie’. Listen to other ideas, allow your team the freedom to express concerns over practices and offer suggestions for improvement. Remember, innovation is the way forward!
Teach and learn
Making best practice the focus of every training day is a great way of ensuring everyone has an opportunity to contribute to the evolution of the practice, and of course raise awareness of the ‘best’ way of completing a task. Ideas to improve it can come from ‘the coalface’, from customer surveys or even from experience of other organisations.
Getting everyone to adopt the best practice involves educating them to the original pain point and the desired outcome. You could even include a short presentation, or education slot in your team meetings for individuals to explain their innovation of a practice method.
Adopting best practice can help you and your business improve
The reason to adopt best practice is always to make improvements. Both to your business operations and yourself as a leader and manager. Benefits to the business include:
- Greater competitive advantage
- Increased sales
- Finding emerging markets
- Improving your employees skills
- Using technology and automation more effectively
- Improving waste management
- Improving time efficiency
Benefits to you as a leader:
- Involving employees in business development ideas
- Greater communication within teams
- Clearer targets for improvements
- Better able to identify training needs
- Fostering a positive workplace culture
Are you ready to adopt best practice? Are you ready to innovate and change what you’ve always been doing for the better? If you’d like some more ideas, or a sounding board, I’d love to help. Get in touch with me for 45 minutes of free business mentoring and test my value.