Role Clarity and Workflow Management Software

July 30, 2014

  Watching the Workflow

“Oh, this ol’ river keeps on rollin’, though
No matter what gets in the way and which way the wind does blow
And as long as it does I’ll just sit here
And watch the river flow”

– Bob Dylan

Ideal Environments Breed Ideal Employees

Maybe it’s just me but it’s hard not to think of Bob Dylan’s classic “Watching the River Flow” every single time we discuss the concept of workflow. And we talk about workflow management and business process a lot at Volano Solutions. Building software systems that create accountability, accuracy, efficiency and transparency are hallmarks of what we do. Our work helps yours move faster and with fewer errors. So what does good workflow management have to do with good employees? The answer is a lot.

When Gallup decided in the early 1990s to look at all aspects of work life in the context of how each drove concrete performance, their findings were not surprising. The common denominator to productive, engaged employees was clarity regarding their job expectations. Conversely, when employees were not clear on expectations, production suffered as did job satisfaction. Unhappy employees tend to breed negativity and we’ve all worked at that place before.


 Clarity and Accountability

Each of our workflow applications begins with a home page of work queues where the expectations of the work to be completed are clearly displayed to the user.  These queues set the expectation to which each employee is accountable and as they complete their work, it flows to the next person in the group so that they can complete the portion that falls in their wheelhouse. When everyone can see this status, and your staff knows what they need to do, conversations can be focused on more important things. Higher level things. What is the best way to handle this specific work item? Who has the bandwidth to take on a project? What you’re not talking about or asking each other is “where are we at with?” and “what is the status of?” Your customers win and your employees know how their day needs to go. You don’t want to be the one slowing the funnel down and that’s the accountability piece.

In this piece by the Nielson Group , role clarity is critical in job satisfaction. They go beyond job satisfaction and productivity and talk about overall personal satisfaction and recommend auditing the time spent at work doing tasks that directly pertain to your defined role versus time spent on other tasks that do not. The extent to which the 80-20 rule slides is a great predictor of lost productivity and job dissatisfaction. Our focus is on helping reinforce defined roles in your daily processes through workflow management software.