When Building Your Team What Comes First: People or Process?

Many organizations are working toward building a culture of hiring diverse groups of people to meet the demands of their organizations. They are being asked to do more with less. The right people must be in the right job. The resources of time, money, and people are limited.

I had the opportunity to interview the Acting Sergeant of the local police service and discover what they look for when hiring their team. The police service looks at building a diverse team that they believe will draw on the strengths of the individuals and create a cohesive unit. In the police service, you want to know you have back up and someone has your back. Managers want to know that their direct reports are putting in their best effort and the direct reports want to know that their manager is going to support them when needed.

When it comes to driving an organization, the dilemma of between people and processes is like the “chicken and egg” scenario. Which comes first? We need people and processes to run an organization and serve the people we are serving.

You want to have the right person with the right knowledge, skills, and abilities in the right position. If you don’t, many things could go wrong. Deciding on the right hire is more than what is on the paper. You want to ensure you are asking the right questions to determine if the person you are interviewing has the knowledge, experience, and capability to fulfill the role. No matter the situation or position, there will always be a learning curve. There are many transferable skills and some skills that may need to be learned. Tasks, procedures, and policies can be learned but people skills need to be cultivated.

People skills matter. Organizations can be people driven and fail in process or process driven and disregard people. The downfall is that we don’t always look at what knowledge, experiences, skills, and abilities that the people who work with us have. Sometimes you’ll see companies look for outside consultants but they fail to listen to the people within their organization with years of experience. In my work with Appreciative Inquiry, the premise is that the people who work alongside of you have the answers you need to fulfill the gaps you may have identified to make your organization great.

Employees get frustrated when people who do not work the frontline try to explain a process to them without consulting the people it impacts first-them. Do you blame them? People want to be asked for their input – engaged in the process, especially when it impacts them. In a sense, this engagement would allow people to drive the process.

When it comes to process, you need to gain a firm grasp of your organizational needs, strengths, opportunities for growth, aspirations, and desired results in order to create a strong vision and a process that the people will buy into. For a process to have buy in, it must be predictable and repeatable – there must be consistency. People must understand the importance of a process and how a process works before they will have buy. In order for this to occur, you need a leader who can create a strong vision for the people of the organization and start the conversation of what needs need to be met to drive a process.

People or process -it is impossible to have one without the other but at the end of the day, we are the people and we are here for the people. The process is how we serve the people that we are here for. To improve productivity and performance, ask yourself the following questions (better yet – ask the people you work with):

  • How can I engage the people around me?
  • What processes exist and which need to be improved?
  • What can I do to improve my role in the process?
  • What processes need to be developed to create the vision for the organization?
  • What can I start doing to assist the process?

At the end of the day, we need to hire people who relate to people, engage others, and also understand the drivers of performance and processes to get the results that we want. It begins with people.

Who do you want on your team?

DEBRA KASOWSKI, BScN CEC is an award-winning best-selling author, transformational speaker, blogger, and Certified Executive Coach. She has a heart of a teacher and is certified in Appreciative Inquiry and Emotional Intelligence. She is a contributing writer for Diversity Magazine and Fabulous at 50 Magazine. Debra Kasowski International helps executives, entrepreneurs, and organizations boost their productivity, performance, and profits. It all starts with people and passion. www.debrakasowski.com



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