How processes can help create good jobs?

Since this is my first post in 2022 I want to wish you all the best in this year. May your plans come to fruition! 

Pretty likely you have some resolutions for this year, perhaps including some process-related ones 😉 If so, let me know in comments (or drop me an e-mail at zbigniew@bpmtips.com), so that I can share with you helpful content.

This post is a part of the experiment I planned for this year. Apart from the standard posts you know well from my website (e.g. BPM skills), I want to see if you like the new formats of content. 

Below, you can see an example of the first format: process mention. What’s the idea? When I read or listen to something outside the BPM universe, sometimes processes are mentioned from an interesting angle. Instead of making notes for myself, I want to share some quotes with you. Let me know if you find it useful!

Content:  HBR IdeaCast / Episode 833 There Still Aren’t Enough “Good Jobs”

In this podcast episode Zeynep Ton (a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management) talks about a need for a different approach to creating jobs. She tells a lot about “bad jobs” in US (some examples are pretty scary/sad funny), but she also gives arguments why employers should treat their workers differently.

Quote: “How can you differentiate yourself in the eyes of your customers if your workers are changing all the time and they can’t focus on the job and their job is not designed to create high value?” 

This is an incredibly valuable point IMO: designing job to create high value. BPM can be useful support here.

Quote: “[…] we need leaders to start thinking differently about their people. Not as inputs, but as human beings who can drive performance, who can drive sales, who can lower costs. And unless leaders change the way they think about people, for as long as they think about people as just a cost to be minimized, I don’t think that the changes would last.”

Also very important point. Pretty often, I hear that automation can save costs, because we can fire people. This may work in a short period, but in a long run this is a risky idea.

Interesting case study (Costco): “So, why is it that they’re able to pay their workers so much more and offer lower prices to their customers and create great returns to their shareholders? Because they leverage their investment in people. Because they empower their employees to be able to make decisions for their customers. Because they empower their employees to cut costs everywhere else. Because they design the work so that employees can be extremely productive.

Quote: “Is a second important step because when a company changes into a good job system, there are many changes that they will have to make. It’s not just paying workers more, but it’s also designing the work differently.

Designing of work reminds me of Deming’s famous quote about 94% of cases where problems and potential improvements are within the responsibility of management.

Interesting case study (Sam’s Club): They use automation to take out the unwanted tasks. They simplified the work and the result has been outstanding for Sam’s Club. It wasn’t just pay. It was a holistic effort and their whole team understood the whole system that was required to change, including the changes in the supply chains. But that’s a fantastic example about a company that has changed, and that is now doing a great job with their customers, with their members. They have membership growth, their same store sales growth has been fantastic, and it didn’t cost them at the end. It ended up being a driver of their performance.”

While this podcast does not mention directly “The Great Resignation”, I thought you may also enjoy two more links:

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/11/what-is-the-great-resignation-and-what-can-we-learn-from-it/

https://www.hfsresearch.com/research/the-great-resignation-can-our-industry-survive-the-great-talent-dearth/

PS. How did you like this new post format? Let me know!

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