Monday, December 20, 2010

Traditions And Bad Habits

"Because this is what we always do." That answer, to just about any question makes me cringe. In the business world, is that a serious answer? Really?

As I speak to owners and managers of mortgage banks, I always ask about their process flow and why they have certain policies and procedures. Let's just say that too often the responses are lackluster.

Most, if not all operational employees are extremely busy right now and many are just struggling to keep up. Ops departmensts have been understaffed throughout most of Q3 and Q4 which leads employees to rely more heavily on their fellow co-workers or ask for more support in the form of additional staff. When we're busy, it's easy to fall into habits and traditions. Unfortunately these old habits are really bad habbits.

Shouldn't we always be looking to improve efficiencies? The problem is most are too busy working on files to see or even think about improvements. Most are even resistant to change, even if it'll help. This is partially due to being stuck in their ways, or "tradition". There is also a fear of having to accept new processes in the midst of an already stressful day. There's always fear that change will bring with it an adjustment period which is scary if you're just trying to keep up.

So, our traditions, or should I say bad habits lead to lines like..."I know it doesn't make sense but it's just what we've always done." Nobody wants to even think about rocking the boat, even if the ship is sinking. Ok, the ship probably isn't exactly sinking but inefficiencies tend to build and eventually lead to uncecessary costs whether it be in additional payroll or turntimes.

Nobody is perfect and neither are any mortgage lenders. EVERYONE has their own set of traditions/bad habits. The question is...Can you identify yours? And what are you doing about it?

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