Corporate Introspection – Why Reconsidering Your Operational Practices Is A Vital Tool For Success
As the growth wave has taken the nation by storm, organizations have been focused on gaining market share and thereby, sales and external factors have taken precedence over the assessment of their day to day operations. This approach however needs to be modified to effectively monitor the pulse of the organization, and realign existing practices to meet the changing corporate agenda. While scaling up is required, doing so in a more streamlined and cognizant manner is far more important to achieve long term success. Here is where the decision of a leader proves to be the core differentiating factor that can either make or break an organization.
Jim Collins has captured this perspective quite accurately in his book ‘Good to Great - Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don't’, by drawing a parallel between a business leader and a bus driver. Through this metaphor he aimed to highlight how leaders need to provide organizational direction and vision, thereby outlining the path for the rest of the organization to follow. Moreover, this also establishes that the leader can revise the chosen course, basis the situation and needs to ensure that the rest of the team is on-board with this. Unfortunately, in most cases, the operational strategy is not reassessed in a timely manner, and ultimately has an adverse effect on the overall corporate culture.
The change within
Given the constant change that takes place within any organization, it is necessary for companies to implement processes and mechanisms that allow an increased level of transparency. More importantly it is necessary to not only ensure two- way communication, but implement methodologies which utilize the feedback being provided down-up, to improve the operational environment. This gives employees a chance to identify the bottlenecks being faced in their day-to-day operations and keeps them thinking of better ways to improve the company’s processes.
Delving into details
The culture of an organization is one of its biggest assets, and while the benefits of encouraging a collaborative workforce have been discussed at length across the board, these conversations seem to elude finer elements. Lenovo has been undertaking a series of internal initiatives, with an aim to keep its ear to the ground and redefine its existing practices to boost employee morale. Here are a few top line aspects that could considerably impact employee performance:
- Trust: Trust is one of the most important components of a relationship between employers and employees. Employees should trust in their immediate seniors; this trust however, can only be built though structured communication that helps employees freely explain their challenges and find ways to perform activities better. When an employee senses a lack of trust, and realizes that micromanagement is underway, it proves incredibly demotivating. Those trusted with tasks have been found to not only be more motivated, but end up performing better.
- Structure: Having a to-do list is necessary to map onto the tasks effectively, but more importantly the tasks in question need to be able to be completed in the designated time frame. No more than 7 tasks should ideally be placed onto a person’s schedule at the beginning as they would find it extremely challenging to complete this list. The number of tasks can gradually be increased. Also, these activities should be carefully monitored by the leaders. Having a firmly outline list of priorities helps structure the day and also enables employees to meet deadlines.
- Prioritizing work: If management demands an employee’s finest work, it is important that they take the employee’s feedback to how they are going to prioritise their work. This approach will help motivate the employee in a way that they feel recognized for their contribution. Creating an environment that allows one to refuse work that is not priority or activities that can be done later, can be acquired only if there is reliance amongst team members. This builds trust in employees’ that their contribution is also vital for the company’s strategy.
- Time Management: In many instances, overlooking this aspect significantly impacts business growth. Managing time is equally important as managing resources and therefore companies need to help employees maximise the use of the time allotted. In many cases, meetings prove to be a significant waste of time. One needs to clearly outline the objective of the meeting and ensure that the attendees are clear about this goal prior to the meeting itself. It also helps to categorically set a time limit for the discussion and ensure that these limits are not overshot.
Many businesses find that aligning an organization is challenging. However, if they possess a higher degree of transparency and empower their employee base efficiently, there is a higher degree of commitment and collaboration that exudes throughout the organization.