Are you often getting interrupted with questions from your staff?
Are they often asking the same thing over and over again?
These questions can cause interruptions in your day and also stops your staff from getting on and doing the job that they need to do.
Often the root cause of this is the way you are running your business. For most business owners the way they want things done in their business is stuck inside their head. And they are often too busy in the day to day running of the business that it becomes quicker to answer the question rather than work out how to stop it from happening in the first place.
All it takes is making some time to take things out of your head and put them on to paper or into systems so that people can follow.
Fixing this may be easier than you think …
Here are four steps you can follow to stop getting the same questions from your staff :
1) Identify Common Questions
The first step is to make a list. Write down a list of the common questions that you are getting from your staff. It’s that simple. What sort of questions are you getting?
- Is it about certain types of jobs?
- Are you getting questions about scheduling?
- Are they questions about quoting?
What are the common questions that are coming up during your day that just keep coming up over and over again? Focus on the ones that are robbing you of your time and also holding your staff up from moving forward.
2) Create a System
Next is you need to write a system. A system is just the best way and most efficient way of doing something.
For each question work out what is that root cause of why it is happening. Why are you staff coming to you with that question? Is there something unclear on a job sheet? Are they looking for information on a quote? Are there things that you only know and are carrying around in your head? How could you put that inside a system. There are lots of way you could do this. It could be a checklist, a form, a procedure, a photograph, a video, and so on. Think about what systems would work best for your situation.
Like one of our customers Andrew. He was working ridiculous hours because he had become the centre of his business. All the staff kept coming back to him with questions. So once he identified the source of the questions he knew what he had to do. He started creating some job sheets which had all the information about the job. It listed all the materials for the job. So instead of his staff having to ask him questions all the time, they were able to refer back to a system.
In this way, we are always looking to a system for a solution, rather than you being being a bottleneck. Without this you will never be able to stop getting the same questions from your staff.
3) Train Your People
It is all very well to have a system, the next step is to train your people in it. Train your people how to find and use the system. They need to know:
- Where it is;
- How it works;
- What to use; and
- When to use it
The key here is to train your people to look to the system when they need an answer. So rather than looking to you, they look to the system.
4) Review Your Results
Finally, you need to put in a review loop to make sure your system is working. Once you have trained someone, work out when you are going to check back in to see how well the system is working.
Evaluate how well the task is being done so it is done effectively. And make any corrections you need to.
Invest more time in the early stages until things just run smoothly and you are no longer getting questions.
By following these four steps, you are going to really stop getting the same questions from your staff. Instead of running around answering them, get to the root cause about what’s causing them. That way you can minimise them and in some cases can stop them all together.
So just to recap the steps:
- Make a list of the questions that you’re commonly getting.
- Work out a system that addresses the root cause of the questions.
- Train your people in that system.
- Have a review loop to make sure that that system is working.
By doing this, you’re going to minimise interruptions, your people are going to be so much more productive, and you’ll be able to create a really great business.