When it comes to the idea of improving a business or an organisation, a lot of awareness and process would be required to bring about a considerable change. Such improvements may take months, in some cases even years, depending on the size of your company.
In the initial years of working with companies, I observed leadership patterns that obstruct improvements in business. It happens when leaders, who have been thinking and debating about a particular change to improve their business for a while, finally announce plans for the new initiative. Forgetting that employees in the organisation haven’t been a part of the discussions or their unfamiliarity with all of the reasons for the change, leaders are taken aback by the amount of resistance the new change receives.
If you as a leader or a business owner are considering improving your business, you can use these below given tips:
- Start With an Idea and Determine the Changes Required
Someone in a leadership position in your organisation needs to take the initial decision that improvements are priority and putting customers and the employees in the front and centre matters for your business.
You should make a concise statement of what changes or improvements are required such as how you’re going to treat customers, how you’re going to support your employees, etc. Making a decision isn’t enough as you need a clear way to refer back to it too.
Also make sure that your hiring practices for your business are as per your newly stated values.
Every single employee from that point of time needs to be hired for reasons that are compatible with your newly stated values as it is crucial.
- Make Strategies from Top to bottom
When there is an immediate need for innovation and for a business, it has to come from the top-down. Leaders need to pave the way with their innovative leadership. As an entrepreneur or business owner, how can you make a quick change with limited resources? If the business has to improve, guess who else needs to change and improve? The CEO, the founder or whoever it is on the top position of the organization.
Improve your personnel policies: Make sure not to dock people for coming in late from the lunch break to assist a customer and don’t rank the performance of employees based on average handle time on phone calls. And so forth. The business owner can make the highest of high-minded values statements, but here is where the buck stops, where your company culture can be improved or degraded.
- Structure Employee-Directed Job Design
In business, it is assumed that jobs are things done by employees, but designed by their leaders. As our society has grown more specialised, this interpretation has increased in its intensity. It’s crucial to let your employees know what they need to get done but not necessarily how they should go about planning their day and carrying out their responsibilities.
Because if your employees are only doing things right because you explained every little thing out, you haven’t created a culture, and you won’t be able to create an approach that is sustainable.
- Find Friends Who Have Made Improvements in Their Business
For you to bring a change, your circle of friends needs to change unless they are in some way able to help you reach your business goals. Figure out if your friend circle has a positive impact on you or if they inspire you.
The truth is that you are the sum average of the 5 persons you spend your time with. There are numerous networking events that you can attend. Find people who share similar goals. Initiate friendships with them and build your relationship with these people, bring value to them too and grow altogether.
A single piece of wisdom from a friend may double or triple your revenue. Change your friends and change your business life.
Quit going to the pub with your pals and find where all the innovators hang.
- Read! Read! Read!
We are privileged today to have everything we need easily available to us because of the advancements we have made in technology.
A decade ago, you would require a library card and an expensive shipping cost to read a book of your choice. Books expand your mind and challenge your innovation.
Through books, you can actually get inside the mind of a world-class thought leader like a billionaire or a visionary leader and understand what strategies they used to improve their business.
Isn’t it amazing! Reading books is one of the best investments you can make in your professional career. Again, the key to overcoming a challenge in your business may lie within a book that costs just couple of pounds. Find a way to buy and read a book.
- Create Simple but Impactful Training Programs For Employees
This might sound very obvious yet it is one of the most effective ways to improve the working process. You should get older employees on the digital transformation train. Employees in their 20s grew up in the digital age and are accustomed to using things like Google and Facebook profiles and various other tools. Employees in their 30s are probably in the same group, although there may be a few who require some training.
Most likely training should be targeted to employees in their 40s or 50s, who may have had some exposure to today’s collaboration platforms but need more time to get a hang of it to use them on a day-to-day basis and be accustomed to them.
A key aspect of the training should be to impress on older employees and make them learn the importance of the shift to digital. Similarly, you should also communicate why the older tools, methods, and ways of thinking are no longer practical
- Link Digital Transformation with Career Growth
One of the other best ways to encourage your employees to jump onto the digital bandwagon is to link digital transformation to their career goals.
Say for example, you have a candidate who’s a business development representative looking to become head of sales. Convey the importance of communication platforms that encourage transparency and break down workplace silos to them. These platforms facilitate free and symbiotic flow of insights and data among departments, which will eventually boost sales.
If there is a candidate who is a product manager looking to eventually become the chief marketing officer, make sure he/she understands how digital possibilities can drive innovation and make products easier to market.
- Support Company Engagement through Collaboration
Bring together online and offline communications by keeping employees connected through their mobile devices, to provide an easy access to tools and corporate information.
This will not only help to break down inter-generational silos and join employees of different ages. It even keeps employees engaged with their companies and with their career paths within their companies, which gradually promotes employee retention and satisfaction.
At the same time, everyone expects the same easy, frictionless experience on their devices in the same way they do with the systems they use at work. Software is just sitting there, ready to be operated. It should feel less mechanical and more like an intuitive extension of how your employees finish the task.
Rather than acting as just a gatekeeper of technology, companies must become more of a business promoter of enterprise-level tools that streamline workflows while removing user barriers.
- Create Virtual Work Environments
Any type of work environment should allow employees to stay connected in distributed and virtual work locations. This type of environment should also be balancing customer/company privacy and operational risk. Such environments give employees the flexibility they need to live their lives while keeping them connected with their colleagues and career goals.
As employees get older at your organisation, they tend to seek more freedom from office. So, you should help them see today’s digital tools as providing that freedom as well as increasing workplace efficiency. With this scenario, existing employees may well stay on longer; and when they leave, they’ll leave you with the knowledge they’ve gained over the years.
- Provide the Right Tools To Your Employees
When you provide your employees the right tools they need to do their jobs, you are empowering them to help themselves in their careers and to feel fulfilled. Platforms that provide easy access to insights and data allow employees to be agile with their work. They also allow better recording of employees’ knowledge and experience.
If your employees have these tools, they will feel more valuable. If they feel valuable, they won’t plan leave.
- Have Suitable Type Of Fund To Support Improvements
Whichever industry you’re part of, there are often capital expenditure requirements to consider when you opt for improvements in your business, be it the technological tools or office infrastructure. If you can’t meet these requirements your business can’t grow, and a business that isn’t growing is not succeeding.
Unfortunately, capital expenditure can be daunting and challenging for growing businesses. But many businesses won’t have significant cash reserves ready to invest in the latest machinery or equipment, and they struggle to get a loan sanctioned by bank. In this situation, opting for Asset finance or cash flow finance is the best product provided by business funds providers. When you need to purchase equipment, or raise money through refinancing, alternative business fund is a must have.
In the end, improving your business, and retaining the knowledge and insights of your employees comes down to helping them feel more happy and fulfilled. Implement easy and impactful training, bring improvements with a supportive virtual work environment and by providing them the right tools, you’ll fortify the future of your company.