It’s the little things that people forget. A local accountant was having a problem with his burglar alarm. Part of the close procedure in his business was that the last person out was responsible for setting the alarm. Yet every day for a week, when he arrived at his office in the morning, the alarm was not set.
He questioned his staff and the “late leaver” confirmed that he was indeed setting the alarm every day. The accountant was to the point of frustration and was ready to call in the alarm company. Surely the darn thing was broken.
That day, he and his staff went to lunch together. As they left the office, the accountant closed the door and pressed the “arm” button on the alarm. His employee exclaimed, “Oh! Is that how you’re supposed to do it? I’ve been pressing “arm” and then closing the door.” Mystery solved.
If something is not going quite right in your business and an employee is performing the function, don’t assume they’re doing the task properly. You can question without accusing to determine if there is a process problem. Or, better yet, document the procedure on a checklist to ensure the steps are done correctly.