As we’ve discussed in previous articles, the collective knowledge and skill of employees can be the biggest driver of growth for an organisation. But this is only possible if everyone is working towards a common goal.
By taking the appropriate actions and empowering their employees to work together cohesively, business leaders can achieve sustainable growth and prosperity in today’s rapidly changing landscape.
Define the roadmap for success
Before any major changes can be undertaken by the organisation, it is vitally important to have the right strategic plan in place. In other words, if you’re going on a journey, you need a map.
With a properly mapped out short- and long-term business strategy, everyone knows what needs to be done at every stage.
When seeking to improve any existing process, you must set clear and attainable goals at the outset that show a demonstrable link between the process improvement and added value. These goals must then be effectively communicated to all the managers and employees who will be involved in the project; everyone must understand the targets and where the accountability lies.
A solid strategic plan also narrows the organisation’s focus in helpful ways. Even if an organisation is thriving, it should not expand in too many directions at once. The right focus and internal organisation allow a business to minimises complexity and risks, while enhancing employee learning and credibility with stakeholders.
When it comes to creating an effective business process, less can indeed be more. Removing redundancies and simplifying the steps in outdated processes will have the immediate benefit of reducing costs. In a well-designed process, waste is much easier to identify and eliminate. Clear and well-established work processes can also reduce operating risks, as results become predictable and repeatable.
For example, a rigorous approach to quality control in manufacturing will produce consistently reliable evaluations of finished products regardless of which workers are on the floor during a given shift. A weak quality control process, on the other hand, will inevitably be more subject to human error. Defects will be detected at inconsistent rates, making it far more difficult to identify the root causes.
Sound processes represent the most reliable way for any business – from manufacturing, all the way to finance – to identify and address internal errors early without having them persist within operations for extended periods of time.
Never stop improving
Every aspect of a business can be improved by making the right internal refinements – from central operations, to sales and marketing, to accounting and finance.
It is important to think of each optimisation effort as a temporary solution to be revisited periodically. Good work processes don’t always remain that way, and a once-effective formula can become obsolete over time. By regularly analysing and evaluating current processes, companies can adapt them to both the scaling up of the businesses and the changes in the market.
Effectively manage projects and overall operations
As companies grow larger and take on an increasing number of projects, leaders can often become bogged down in the details of daily operations rather than focusing on larger organisational goals.
Establishing a project management office (PMO) can ensure consistent handling of every project across the organisation. Whether this office is set up internally or by an external partner, it can enable agility across projects, while avoiding cost underestimation and scope creep.
This allows leaders to effectively manage the company without being involved in the minutiae of day-to-day operations. They can instead take a wider view of the organisation, and focus their efforts on long-term goals.
Get everyone on the same page with change management
When a company begins reducing waste, streamlining processes, and automating certain tasks, employees may start to worry about their job security.
Change management helps affected employees understand the need for change, and allows them to make proper use of the newly implemented processes or tools. The employees will then see that the changes were not meant to replace them. Far from it. The improved processes eliminate tedious tasks, enabling employees to focus on more important and more interesting responsibilities that add value to the company.
To ensure proper change management, leaders may decide to appoint a change management committee.
Consider enlisting a strategic partner
Setting strategic goals, eliminating waste, as well as constantly analysing and improving work processes is no easy feat, but fortunately no organisation has to do it without help. Grant Thornton can be an ideal strategic partner in these crucial endeavours. We offer training courses to enhance your organisational agility and guide you through change management. Moreover, we can tailor these services to perfectly suit your company's unique culture.
To grow and prosper in today’s volatile and uncertain business world, organisations must harness the potential of their people. By taking the aforementioned actions, you can empower your employees and empower your organisation.