Importance of Standardizing in Financial Processes
Standardization is incredibly important for every business. This is because standardization for financial procedures makes certain employees and customers both benefit from the best practices. With proper execution, we have seen incredible results. Due to modern technology such as cloud applications, companies can save a significant amount of money, decrease error and risk, and save valuable time. The effectiveness and efficiency of the business also improve.
Where Do You Start with Standardizing the Strategic Planning Process?
We believe the best place to begin is eliminating the potential for guesswork within the business. When employees receive clear instructions for any responsibility, the time previously necessary to determine exactly what needs to be done and how is eliminated. The employees are able to perform tasks immediately. Companies spend a lot of time and resources training employees to help ensure the business runs smoothly. Despite this, when a task is not well defined, mistakes occur due to incorrect employee assumptions.
Standardization in financial processes ensures employee responsibilities are completed accurately and correctly. When the task is well defined and understood, the results are consistent and efficient. Standardization guarantees both quality and reliability. When all financial procedures are approached in the same way, the results become equal. This eliminates the potential to overlook basic and critical details. An excellent example is using a template for procedures and policies.
The template enables all employees to adhere to the same processes to guarantee the desired result. The result is an improvement in productivity. Standardization enables better performance through the elimination of waste. The financial functions of the business become more functional while requiring less time. Once the business eradicates inefficiency, productivity and quality control improve. This is because employees are fulfilling their responsibilities correctly the first time.
Benefits of Standardization
We have seen unhealthy conflicts and competition significantly decrease due to the elimination of alternate procedures. A good example is a business with numerous formal systems to track employee workflows. Eventually, these systems will collide, resulting in inevitable conflicts. Without standardization, coordinating multiple separate systems is extremely separate. The end result is generally a decrease in productivity, conflicts, and competition.
One of the key benefits of standardization is eliminating the potential for all of the above. Teams work together much easier when everyone is following the same procedures. There is no longer a need to spend time communicating among the teams to establish understanding. Standardizing decreases conflict increases productivity and enables the same standards to be used by all employees. The employees have pride in their work in addition to a sense of achievement.
We have learned the best way to obtain consistency is standardizing in financial processes. This does not mean employees are unable to be creative, or tasks become monotonous. Employees are simply able to follow a procedure enabling pride in their accomplishments. When managed correctly, standardization promotes better relationships among employees leading to happier workers. Productivity increases along with company morale.
The overall benefits of standardization for businesses include all of the following and more.
- Enhancing Clarity: Improved clarity results from eliminating employee guesswork due to standard processes.
- Promoting Productivity: Employees become more efficient and productive because the need to search for answers is eliminated through standardization.
- Exceptional Customer Service: Customer interactions improve because all employees are following the same procedures.
- The Quality Guarantee: When all work is well defined, the result is optimization resulting in guaranteed quality.
- Improving Employee Morale: Morale improves because employees have refined their skills resulting in a sense of pride.
Regulating Business Financial Procedures
We believe every employee needs to know whether or not they are performing their job well. A lack of understanding often leads to stress and poor performance. Employees are often humiliated or embarrassed when apologizing for either incorrect or inadequate work. Understanding the expected standards of performance eliminates employee frustration. We have found employees perform high-quality, efficient work when specific processes and standards have been established.
The result is efficiency and pride as opposed to doubt and inefficiency. Employers with standardized practices receive better work due to improved morale. The link between employee morale and standardization is the ability of the employees to be proud of their work. Efficient standardization ensures efficiency, eliminates frustration, and enables employees to achieve something worthwhile during their time at work. The final result is substantially improved financial procedures.
Improving Customer Service Through Standardization
Good customer support is critical for the success of any business. Standardizing customer service policies enable the representatives to provide consistent and helpful service. Responses are optimized to speed up the process. When the team is more productive, has better morale, is certain of their responses, and offers high-quality performance, the result is excellent customer service. A well-executed standardization process provides the methods required for information to be effectively centralized.
No matter how well a business performs, there will always be at least a few unsatisfied customers. If these consumers are not satisfied with the response from the customer support team, they will take their business elsewhere. We realize handling customer complaints is difficult under the best circumstances. Standardized procedures ensure the representatives will understand exactly how these types of customers should be handled. We have seen numerous customer accounts saved in this manner.
Certain issues are time-sensitive. If the problem is not handled correctly the first time, there may not be enough time for a second attempt. Standardization also has an indirect impact on customer service. When a business is efficient and productive, the number of customer complaints generally decreases. Fewer complaints enable customer service representatives to spend more time with customers requiring additional attention. Satisfied customers will continue paying for products and services.
Common Concerns Regarding Standardization
We have heard a lot of misconceptions about standardization. Despite the numerous benefits, there are still businesses afraid to change procedures and processes due to these misconceptions. The most common misconception we hear is standardization results in employees losing creativity and becoming bored with their jobs. This is absolutely not true. When all procedures are performed the same way, the process becomes uniform. When employees understand exactly what is expected, the results are remarkable.
When the business has a specific standard for evaluating employee performance, the result is the opposite of boring and monotonous. The employees know exactly what is expected, have a standard to gauge their performance, take more pride in their work, have a sense of accomplishment, and are able to work more efficiently and effectively. The employee feels motivated by their accomplishments. This results in job satisfaction as opposed to boredom.
Standard processes and procedures enable employees to understand exactly what needs to be accomplished to perform their tasks correctly. Tasks can then be completed faster due to the standardized requirements. Employees can work together easier and more smoothly because everyone is working according to the same standards. The result is a business that can run like a well-oiled machine. Conflicts significantly decrease, improving the bottom line of the company.
One of the concerns we hear frequently from businesses is standardization results in the destruction of creativity. This concern is 100 percent false. The belief standardization decreases creativity and innovation is also patently false. We believe companies are afraid standardization will prevent employees from having new ideas, resulting in poor thinking processes and mentality. The truth is the exact opposite. Standardization does not impede innovation.
Standardization eradicates inefficient alternatives usually resulting in conflicts and inefficiency. Once these issues have been eliminated, employees do not feel as though their energy or time is being wasted. This means the employee’s focus becomes innovation in all of the most important areas. We find it ironic one of the most common misconceptions regarding standardization is innovation will be lost because the exact opposite is true.
When processes are standardized, operations are streamlined to ensure employees and teams are more effective. We have even seen employees use their creativity to find a wat to improve the standardization procedures. There have been several ideas we adopted because they were that good. If circumstances change as time passes, standardized processes can always be changed to accommodate any resulting issues. Standardization can lead to important and necessary changes in the future.
There are certain circumstances that occur on a fairly random basis such as selecting the most qualified employee for a promotion, company expansions, or the need to automate workflow. Standardization offers the ability to automate procedures, recommend specific employees for promotion, or determine which areas of the company should be expanded. Standardized procedures ensure everything does not have to be done from the ground up every time.
The workflow becomes much more consistent and predictable. Every business has certain reoccurring tasks. There are also procedures that must take place on a predetermined schedule such as employee performance reviews. Standardization allows the business to create templates appropriate for improving the efficiency of every procedure and process. This ensures the employees know what steps need to be taken next. The bottom line is standardization can improve every business.
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