Finding the Holes

 

Your business has an objective, perhaps a mission, perhaps you have even written it down in a mission statement, but who in your organisation truly understands this and how do they apply it to the everyday tasks they undertake?

How do your employees apply the mission of your business to every interaction they have with your customers?

In our previous article, “Holes that Grow”, we explored some of the ways tiny gaps can form in your business systems and how if they are not corrected they will expand as the business gets bigger.

 

Where holes start

The implications of one person’s actions on the entire organisation can have an impact:

Bottom up

Is one person making the holes bigger by their actions? Are they unclear about their role, do they need training, coaching or mentoring?

Or is it

Top down

Are you, as the leader, allowing your personal preferences to have a negative influence on your behaviour at work? This can be difficult to see in yourself and more difficult for your employees to point out to you, but how often have you seen ineffective (self)management create huge holes?

The implications of allowing these people-created holes to grow are significant to efficiency, business relationships and profits, affecting them all in negative ways. As the owner of the business or the leader of the team the ultimate responsibility for performance is yours; it follow that if you identify weaknesses in the performance of your staff, or even yourself, it is up to you to address them. So why do so many leaders not do this?

One significant reason for not taking the right action when holes are identified is lacking the tools to understand what is really happening and a language in which to discuss the solution.

 

What you can do

To start darning a few holes here are some practical ideas:

1    The “Mission”

If you have a written Mission Statement I am sure it will sound grand and truly meaningful, but how is it shared with all members of your team?

  • Ask everyone (unprompted) to tell you what it says
  • Of those who get it right, ask what it means to their daily activity
  • Ask yourself, “how do I exemplify this mission in everything I do?”

I suspect, nay, know that this simple exercise will reveal a few embryonic holes in your business.

2    Structure

All businesses, no matter how small or large, simple or complex need a structure so that each person in the business understands how they fit in and interact with the others. This even applies to the separate roles taken on by a sole trader.

  • Create a diagram to show relationships and flow of work
  • Share it and explain it to everyone involved (you might even want to ask for their input  beforehand!)
  • Identify clearly how the leadership function in the structure should be delivered. Will an “all hands to the pump” approach work well or should you be more of a champion, figurehead or role model. Psst, a tip about flexibility: you may wish to adapt this from time to time but always remember the mission and the structure.

3    Skills

Without the skills needed to do the job, it will never be done effectively.

  • Assess the training levels of each team member.  Breakdown complex jobs into small chunks that are easier to assess; you may have an employee who can complete almost all of their tasks with ease but struggles with a particular aspect of the work.
  • Consider practical, vocational skills along with less specific interpersonal skills training, communications, personal development or even recreational: more rounded people make better employee

4    Will

No matter how clear everyone in your organisation is, no matter how well they are trained and no matter how they gel with their colleagues, the business will not thrive unless everyone wants to make it happen.

For individuals, managers and teams consider:

  • Motivation – mapping motivations and taking action on the results has an amazing impact on performance – for more information see this article
  • Environmental considerations – does each member of your team have the physical resources to achieve what you ask of them?
  • The whole person – are there factors outside of the workplace that are making calls on the member of staff, and can you help?

5    The essential last piece

Once you have addressed the above, got your mission, structure, skills and will all reviewed, discussed, and shared – TAKE ACTION – without this final part of the process being completed you will have exhibited no leadership.

 

So, go on then!

 

If you would like to find out how our expertise can help you darn your jumper before the holes become too big, please call today and we’ll be delighted to arrange a free review.

Resulting in action.

This alternative way of moving forward has had a dramatic positive impact on our business.

Damien Bove - Director, Adact Medical

Proven. Measured. Bespoke.

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