Process, Process, Process!

When things go wrong – who do you blame?

It takes a minute for something to go wrong and when it does there is the age-old issue of finding the person to blame. It must be someone that messed up, because they were too inexperienced, too busy or just not good at their job, right?

Wrong. Well, not entirely. Where the someone is probably the catalyst for the mistake, the fuse is almost always down Process. Whether they simply are not in place, they are too complicated to be workable or are not being communicated correctly.

At the Garda National Vetting Conference held in Croke Park on the 7th May, the Deputy Commissioner for Policing and Security John Twomey spoke about the requirement for Community, Voluntary and Statutory organisations to vet their staff and those who did not, were in breach of the National Vetting Bureau Acts 2012 to 2016.

That’s a simple message. So surely all relevant organisations have a process in place to ensure that this ‘first line in defense’ is completed. It appears not if you listen to what he goes on to say; “When organisations repeatedly fail to meet standards investigations will take place and prosecutions may be recommended.” The Conference urged people to have a process in place to avoid penalties that include fines up to €10,000 or prison. They know that the stick has to an expensive one to get people to listen.

So other than the expensive stick – why should you embed process today

If you don’t document what you do – how can someone hold their hand up when it goes wrong. You need to communicate what is required of the organisation. You need to support everyone so that if there is a problem, it gets resolved, the process is improved, and the culture of blame changes to learning.  

If there isn’t a known method, then how can you blame someone who tries ‘their way’ and gets it wrong. People by our nature are different and if there isn’t a pathway clearly signposted, we all will go with our own opinion and when it doesn’t work, it leaves the organisation vulnerable. It can create a culture of fear – when you don’t know what to do, it creates stress.

If you can’t do your job because the process is unworkable, how can you be surprised when someone cuts corners. We have all been in a situation when you need to complete a simple task but must jump through incredible hurdles to do so. It also leaves your end user vulnerable, from as serious as endangering them from lack of vetting of staff, to eliminating trust when you can’t do what you say you do.

A process can be as simple as checklist. This checklist is the chapter and verse. If this is followed, it provides a base for all else. How you communicate this is through READABLE policies. You embed it through regular review and training. You provide a culture of knowledge, ownership and transparency, all because you have locked down a process.

CCS Consultants are an established consultancy based with a team of professionals who provide a range of expert organisational supports and guidance to organisations in the charitable, community & voluntary and statutory sectors.