Welcome back to our three-part series about efficiency in the workplace. So far we challenged managers to delegate meaningful work to their subordinates and discussed the some of the reasons inefficient tools and processes exist in the workplace. Today we are going finish up the series with a look at how creating a culture that embraces change will make you more nimble and efficient.
Latitude for Innovation and change
The c-suite leadership within your company will not have the best ideas and innovations to solve the problems for each layer in your company. You need to have a culture where innovation and problem-solving is celebrated and new ideas/solutions are brought to light quickly. We often see that corporate bureaucracy gets in the way of implementing efficient outcomes. You need employees that are willing to problem-solve their day-to-day work and collaborate with peers on finding efficient solutions. Does your culture support free thinkers? Are people not only allowed to speak up and dissent, but are they rewarded for it? If colleagues aren’t just permitted, but encouraged, to speak their minds you’ll stifle new ideas and perspectives that could lead to growth.
Core Problem: Leadership does not need to be the primary instigator of change within the company. The more the organization celebrates innovation and embraces change, the more solution-oriented the workplace will become.
Activity: Is your company nimble enough to change? What’s one way you can champion lower-level employees voicing inefficiencies they see in their role? Choose one line item in your budget and form a committee to come up with ideas to decrease the bottom line and find another way. Hold a retrospective to analyze a project that has recently come to completion. Don’t only invite the managers of the project to provide feedback, invite the team that is closest to share insights. Invite them to share their thoughts anonymously, personally in a one-on-one conversation, or in a group discussion with their peers/manager.
An efficiency misnomer is that there has to be a major change to make yourself/your team/your business more efficient. Maybe you imagine it will take a full year of coaching, a round of layoffs and an act of God to create a change in your company. But it starts with the small things. Change one process, build-in a few minutes to take stock of your team on a daily basis, or delegate a small facet of your daily workload. Choose a mantra “busy doesn’t equal efficient” or “efficiency, efficient-me!” “Work smarter, not harder” Making small changes will amplify themselves across your entire team; you’ll feel better, you’ll be better; now go get ‘em!
This is the final post in a three-part series on efficiency. Check out our first two posts about managers that know when to delegate and integrated tools and processes.