Are we facing a common-sense epidemic?

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A lack of common sense within organizations is by no means unusual – that’s the claim from one industry expert who says almost everyone will have endured impractical processes at some point.

“I believe we’d all agree that when we look around in our jobs we sometimes ask; ‘Why are we doing this this way?” says Rex Conner, founder of HR consultancy Mager Consortium.

“That’s very common in the workplace and of course it impacts business results – the most important of which is morale and the desire to stay within a company.”

Conner – who recently penned “What if Common Sense Was Common Practice in Business?” – says the epidemic isn’t about a lack of individual acumen; it’s actually about processes that go ignored.

“Work processes that we don’t pay attention to evolve into something that’s not functional, that defies common sense,” says Conner. “Then we just keep them going because we’re not thinking about them and it’s always been done that way.”

According to Conner, most workplaces have got so much going on that people are reluctant to slow down and revisit the work processes which are causing common sense violations.

“We just keep producing and keep moving,” he says. “It takes time, it’s an investment to slow down and evaluate your work processes.”

Instead, Conner says employers should establish systems where work processes are regularly reviewed to remove subjectivity and find the best practice possible.

“If we map out or work processes, we’ll find a lot of instances of holes in the process, or fuzzy communication in the process,” he says. “We can fix both of those when we map it out, discover the different ways people are doing things, find the best practice then fill the gap with the official way so everyone has one way of performing.

“Your process should be to review that process every quarter, six months or year and capture best practices as they grow and change,” he says.

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