Process Improvement and the ‘Because We’ve Always Done It That Way’ Culture – Part 1

Change can be daunting. Understandably, the tendency to stick to the path of least resistance can lead FIs to continue doing things the way they always have – even when the processes are outdated and inefficient.

Have you ever asked the simple question of your team, “Why do we do it this way?” The common response is often, “I’m not sure. We’ve just always done it this way.”

“The answer isn’t wrong, but it is thought provoking,” said Jen Megee, PRI project manager. “The financial industry continues to evolve and revisiting the ‘why’ behind the process can lead to a better client experience and more internal capacity through gaining efficiencies.”

When there is a merger or acquisition, this question becomes even more vital as FIs merge processes and systems with the goal of gaining as many efficiencies as possible and, as a result, increased profits. However, process improvement is appropriate for any FI, at any time, that is aiming to gain efficiencies, improve morale and increase profits. Particularly in today’s competitive employment environment, the internal capacity gained through process improvement can help reduce stress within the organization. 

Do you know you need to change a process, but don’t know where to start? Review these five easy steps for creating a proactive culture and implement them at your organization. 

1.      Empower employees to ask “why”

2.      Make time and be open to the dialogue around the “why”

3.      Evaluate whether the current process still makes sense

4.      Identify key stakeholders

5.      Explore refined processes

“Don’t be afraid to challenge the status quo, ask the question why and be open to the answer,” Megee said. “Sometimes people get protective, in some cases defensive, of processes that they’ve followed for 10 or 20 years, but banking has changed and evolved over those years. It’s important to demonstrate that changing processes can make the FI more profitable and save the employee time and effort.” 

In our next blog, Jen will discuss how to get organizational buy-in to process improvements that involve multiple departments.Profit Resources specializes in identifying profitability improvement areas for financial institutions through revenue growth, cost control, streamlining processes, and effective use of technology. Contact us to learn more about our personalized approach to propel growth and improve profitability.

Search Profit Resources