FCM funded a qualitative study of California workforce investment boards and its American Job Centers to identify key issues in engaging businesses. Currently California has 49 WIBs that administer funds to a network of approximately 206 AJCs. FCM contacted 21 organizations for an in-depth interview about common workforce business engagement practices within the WIB and the AJCs. Key themes that emerged included: 1) organizational structure; 2) performance metrics; 3) market perception; 4) technology; 5) communications; 6) and on boarding.
None of the surveyed participants had used process maps to develop a clearly defined organizational structure, or had an operations manual for business engagement. What are process maps and why are they so important in developing an operational structure that is lean and effective?
A process is a series of steps or actions performed to achieve a specific purpose, and describes the way tasks are completed. There are many processes within an organization and a business engagement team. A process map is a pictorial representation of the sequence of actions that comprise a process. It is a foundational component to documenting current state processes and identifying areas of duplication and those that can be improved upon, as well as providing clear direction for creating an operations manual for the business engagement team.
Another key challenge that we see in our consulting practice is that organizations that do use process maps don’t necessarily connect brand values when striving to improve operational structures. For example, a two-star hotel may have a process by which the front desk staff greets the customer by saying, "Welcome, how may we help you?" which aligns with the hotel’s brand values of efficient and fast. On the other hand, a five-star hotel may have brand values pertaining to personalized luxury; this may require a more detailed process in which the valet team radios to the front desk to let them know the name of the customer, what he/she is wearing, and what they look like, so that the greeting at the front desk can be more personalized such as, "Mr./Ms. Jones, it's a pleasure to welcome you."
What are your brand values and are they aligning with your process maps and operational protocols? Public sector and nonprofit organizations have to not only consider the mechanics of serving customers or engaging partners, but how they are going to do so in a way that aligns with brand values. Establishing a high performing market responsive business engagement team requires a complete alignment from the organization’s vision/mission/brand values to a clearly defined operational structure that details the mechanics of various processes and ultimately how your brand is represented. Business and industry want long-term relationships and partners. Are your teams prepared to move to a next level of performance in business engagement?
If you need to understand how to develop process maps, then consider Business U’s one-day learning event Lean Operational Processes: Building Effective Operational Processes for a Market Responsive Business Services Team.
Delivered in a one-day (8-hour), onsite format, Business U’s Master Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma works hands on with the Leadership and Business Engagement teams to map current state processes of the team and its partners, and then fine-tunes them to avoid duplication and redundancy. The end result is an operational structure that is responsive to the market needs of business and industry.
Upon the completion of this learning event, participants will be able to:
- Identify the key elements needed to implement an effective continuous process improvement plan.
- Design a process map that includes the required elements in a high performing market responsive business services team.
- Produce a SIPOC chart to create the correct internal processes for a market responsive business services team.
For more information, click here.