Your employees genuinely want to do the best possible job, but sometimes the very tools and technology intended to help them can actually get in the way. In order to get the job done, they will go to extraordinary lengths to bypass your carefully implemented systems and processes. The unintended outcome of this behavior is the introduction of unknown risk into your business.
Electronic Ink design researchers have observed countless people in all types of settings. Every environment is different, but often we observe the same challenges everywhere—in corporate offices, call centers, hospital waiting rooms and car dealerships. These problems often manifest themselves in consistent and observable behaviors.
Take a walk through your work space. How many of these workarounds do you observe?
1. Post-it Note Decor
Do your team members line their monitors and desks with Post-it Notes of written passwords, phone numbers and steps in a process? That’s no sign of efficiency. If your IT help desk number is on prominent display, you can be sure there are troubling system issues you don’t know about.
2. Down the Rabbit Hole
Multiple open windows can indicate many things, but it always signals inefficiency. How many windows do your team members have open as they do their work? Do they alternate between approved systems and Excel spreadsheets? The risk associated with importing and exporting data across multiple systems is enormous. Do team members have multiple windows of the same program open to different pages? Chances are one window has data needed for a transaction on another. This amounts to inefficiency and frustration for your team.
3. Heavy Paper–Light Process
Are your team members’ desks clean or are they cluttered with printed documents despite your paperless process? Stacks of confirmation printouts signal a mistrust in your system. Highlighted papers are a sign that important information is missing from the systems in which they are working.
4. ‘Hit by a Bus’ Phenomenon
Do you know where your employees are saving important documents? An over-reliance on saving files to local and personal drives suggests that your employees have been burned in the past by system failure and lost connections. The risk they create in attempting to mitigate another is that the latest version of a document is not in a widely accessible place. What happens if that team member can’t retrieve it? Would the transition be seamless if they left work today and never returned?
Chances are you observed one or more of these workarounds. The good news is that once observed, they can be addressed. Our design methodology can identify the problems hidden behind these observable signals and reveal practical solutions that eliminate the unexpected risks, improve employee efficiency and boost job satisfaction.