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  • Mark Shaw

If only managers followed the process.

If I had one dollar for every time a HR practitioner said this to me ”if only the manager had followed the process, we would not have this problem”, I’d be a very rich person.

Unfortunately, I am not because I always respond, “well perhaps the problem is the process we make them use it too complex”.

My favourite example is from a 2010 text by Tovey, Uren, and Sheldon where they provide a performance appraisal flow chart that includes 29 decision points, including 5 that force you to start again. Too complex!

And if you review all 67 pages of the 2022 Queensland Code of Practice for ‘managing the risk of psychological hazards at work’, I’d argue nothing has changed. Still too complex!

For the past 25 years I have assisted managers follow the process by simplifying the complexity, while maintaining full quality control, transparency, defendable process, and defendable outcomes.

Two examples that reinforce the benefits of moving from complexity to simplicity are.

An association of private schools had unsuccessfully tried for many years to negotiate changes to the pay classification structure for non-teaching staff. By adopting our Behavioral Anchored Rating Statements approach to the problem, we were able to assist 23 schools complete over 600 individual pay classification assessments in less than six months without one appeal. Simple rather than complex.

Most recently, a client using our psychological safety questionnaire identified two employees expressing psychological issues impacting their work with everyone else reported being just fine. To achieve this result, individual employees completed the survey in less than five minutes and the management dashboard identified the two individuals instantly. Simple rather than complex.

If you want managers to follow the process, give them a simple process that removes the complexity, maintains full quality control, transparency, defendable process, and defendable outcomes.

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