South African companies that want to succeed as they expand into other African countries – or elsewhere in the world, for that matter – must be willing to make real investments in training staff in their processes and systems, writes Ivanna Granelli, founder of Can!Do Consulting.
As South African companies try to come to grips with the red tape, regulation, culture and infrastructure as they expand into the rest of Africa, they often forget one of the most important elements of success—ensuring that employees in new territories are aligned with the operational processes and the strategic direction of their organisations.
Here, companies should be investing in tools and structures that help their people to get operational on their systems and processes as quickly as possible while helping them to feel connected to the purpose and outcomes of their jobs. This is not just about training and change management – it’s also about creating a culture of learning and providing business performance support tools that help people do to their jobs more efficiently and effectively.
This demands that companies not only roll out training and user adoption programmes, but also provide users with performance support systems that help them to better use company systems and processes while they’re working.
By helping process operators to understand how their work impacts the whole organisation, a business empowers them to perform better in a way that enhances the performance of the whole organisation. They understand how their work links into the business’s strategy as well as how it helps other people do their work.
It is easy for top management to formulate a vision for an integrated business system that underpins an integrated enterprise. It’s far from simple to translate this into organisational action. The reality is that even departmental heads and middle managers often lack insight into how their departments impact on business performance.
For that reason, it’s important to roll out training and user programmes that are cross-functional and integrated in nature. One must strive to ensure close integration of the organisation’s departments and functions, appointing process champions to lead the implementation and change efforts.