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A Culture of Killing It: 5 Reasons Why Automation is the Key to Happy Employees

by | Business Strategy

A Culture of Killing It: 5 Reasons Why Automation is the Key to Happy Employees

by | Aug 31, 2016

The single most important factor in the success of your small business is the happiness of your employees. It’s impossible to have happy customers if your staff exist in a perpetual cloud of negativity and frustration.

Make no mistake: you need happy customers to succeed. You cannot have happy customers with unhappy staff.

Traditionally business owners have tried to buy employee happiness. Whether that’s through cash incentives, unlimited time off or ping pong tables in a trendy office.

But the attempt to buy happiness, and buy culture, is ultimately futile. Yet one of the most effective ways—and also most overlooked—is to systemise everything you can.

Here are five reasons why:

1. Man Down

If you’re totally reliant on staff doing everything, when one of them leaves the others have to figure out what that person was actually doing, and then figure out how to get it done.

The one thing you don’t ever want is an irreplaceable employee. If you allow a situation where the whole team is beholden to one person, when they leave, the whole team has to scramble to pick up the pieces. Which is to say: they’ll be pissed and you’ll be in trouble.

2. Bum-Metrics

Without systems in your business, you have no pulse on what your staff are actually doing. Without technology, the only way you can determine the output any one staff member is to measure how long her bum is in her seat.

Without software and systems, you can’t measure individual output. Only presence.

By utilising software, you create a world where individual output can easily be measured. This enables the accountability the right employee actually wants, and creates the environment where they can be effective, not just present.

3. The Real Gaps

The act of systemising identifies the parts of your business that are a problem.

Without systems in place, you have no idea if there’s a gap in any employee’s understanding or skills related to a particular step in the process.

For example, maybe the invoices for your company aren’t being sent out on time. There could be any number of reasons for why this is happening. But the only way to determine what’s actually going on is for you to have the various employees involved in the process walk you manually through the entire process and try to figure out where the problem is.

If it were an automated process, it’s easy to figure out if it’s a system problem or a staff member problem. If it’s the former, it’s an easy fix. If it’s the latter, it’s just a short training session and everything gets sussed out and working smoothly.

4. Eliminate the Doubt

Staff can see what’s going on. People love to know what’s going on. Most people want to do a good job. Automation gives your staff a view into that. They aren’t scrambling to find things to do and living in constant doubt if their efforts are working or not.

5. Out and About

Without automated systems in place, employees that work outside the office (a salesman, for instance, or an installer) are completely invisible. You have no idea if he’s out working or has knocked off early and gone to the pub.

On the other side of that, if that installer knows he has three locks to install that morning, can check them off inside the system after he’s completed each, and see he has no other jobs for the day, he can then feel good about going to the pub for lunch.

Systems allow for that work-life balance that’s impossible to achieve for your employees in any other way.

Ultimately it comes down to your choice. Happy employees cannot be bought, you have to create an environment where they can succeed. And that can be bloody hard.

You can spend the next decades of business dealing with a bunch of Eeyore’s stumbling over themselves to log the necessary hours to maintain employment—and waste your time and money at the same time. Or, you can make the choice to invest in your systems and their ability to perform.

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