Updated: Feb 2
It may sound like a simple concept, change your skillset and you’ll change your outcome, but it’s actually more complicated than just taking a few courses. Changing your skillset is not only a decision to change, advance, or be better, it's also choosing not to fall back on old habits. The best way to maximize the bottom line of your company is to invigorate your people and your processes. I’m not talking about putting together a great PowerPoint presentation or creating dashboards that no one really does anything with, I mean really shaking things up. Documenting processes is one thing, deciding that we’re going to do this better is another. This is a big decision that will require an even bigger commitment to see it to the end. The undertaking of identifying processes, although often minimized or simplified is far more complicated than a novice may present.
Where your team stands in this
Let’s be totally honest, you are likely pretty removed from the day-to-day running of things, yes even if you’re saying no, you know there are a lot of things you know nothing about in your business. Your people are the ones that interact with your clients, vendors, and each other every day. Reviewing the ways in which they currently communicate, collaborate, and make your business a better place. They will also determine new ways they can better serve your client's needs.
Meanwhile, your processes should allow your people to operate in the most efficient way possible. They often are counterproductive when they become cumbersome, manual, or layered meaning copy and pasted information. These two areas, people and process are interrelated to help your organization reach its ultimate potential. Your people are the building blocks that determine the strength of your organization's processes, which will result in optimized performance. This begs the question — with the constant change of technology, how do you plan to empower your employees?
Why empower your employees?
When I make a statement to do, or not to do something I will back it up with facts, and of course my experience. To address the question, why empower your employees, I’m going to use an interactive example. Before we move on to the scenario you may have an issue with the word empower because it implies: we as leaders Give someone else power or Make them stronger. No one needs another person's permission or give the power to make them stronger. I’m only talking about you as a leader now who has been there before.
Think back to a job you’ve had in your life; hopefully, you’ve had a job outside of a family business so you can recall this time in your life.
If you remember what it was like to work there, something had to have happened that was memorable to you.
Think about your onboarding process, was it sit in the seat and figure it out, or was it a program where someone walked you through how to do what was expected of you?
What was your manager like were they authoritative, collaborative, or passive? I’m sure you remember their name.
You likely remember the very first time, or maybe even every time you made a mistake, an epic mistake!
When you tell this story to your friends and family what is it like? Usually, one of those memories you look back on and are thankful it's over, right?
Now that you’ve gone back to that time in your life in the early days, you’ll likely also remember a good job you’ve had. A manager that inspired you, supported you, maybe you had a mentor, or worked for or with someone that informally took you under their wing. Maybe a better way to position this if you take issue with empowering is Not to empower people because they already have it in them but to create an environment for them to thrive and grow.
“It’s the job of the manager not to light the fire of motivation, but to create an environment to let each person’s personal spark of motivation blaze.”
- Frederick Herzberg, American psychologist
Unless you are one of the fortunate ones, those roles were likely two different companies. They both left an impression on you, but both were very different impressions, regardless of the outcome or reason you no longer work there.
Back to why I’m encouraging you to empower your employees because it has a lasting effect on people. The kind of corporate culture you have, the way in which you value the people that work for you, and the management team you hired to carry on your mission and vision to the greater team matters. It matters to you and your business, your clients, and to those who work for you.
How employee engagement empowers your business
Investing in your people increases engagement and ultimately allows your company to grow exponentially. According to MSW Research, only 29% of U.S. employees are fully engaged, and 26% are disengaged. Those drastic numbers are affecting businesses around the country and ultimately increasing costs rather than increasing revenue.
So how do we increase employee engagement? Engagement starts with asking questions that relate to your team’s commitment. In other words, is your team invested in the success of your business? This concept is driven by the leaders of the organization. When you have great leadership, you have a team that truly understands the nature of the business,
believes in your mission, and wants to better serve your clients. One way to build great leadership is to invest in the success of your team. According to Gallup, companies with engaged employees outperform others with disengaged employees up to 202%. Employees that see their organization is investing in them are more likely to be engaged and gain a greater sense of confidence when it comes to being successful in their role.
Engagement will ultimately lead to employee satisfaction, which will reinvigorate your people to take command of their daily tasks. Altogether, a focus on creating a culture that offers challenges and opportunities to grow is ideal to build a satisfying work experience. This positive change of performance will foster an increase in productivity and allow your employees to work at their maximum level.
The streamline of people, processes, and technology will require continuous adaptation through skillset development.
Professional training and development will always be a continuous effort. This is especially essential when an organization is going through a change initiative. Whether it is adding technology, people, or revising workflows, it is important to optimize training and development and effectively learn how to utilize them. Whether you are improving managerial skills, learning to sell more effectively, or simply working on team collaboration, there will always be a need for workplace training.
For instance, at Cornerstone Paradigm Consulting, a business operations consulting firm, we focus on helping people with the processes, systems, and software implementation to streamline your business operations and improve your customer experience. Concurrently, when there is business operational change then there is always a need to upskill your talent with these changes.
This is where we help you make the decision on how and who to upskill when automation replaces manual workflows. We help your people perform at their maximum level and be the best version of themselves with new training and development. Upskilling allows them to learn and grow with your business's improved operations confidently. As a result, your people will be able to use new software and collaborate at a higher level, which is why we look at your business holistically reinforcing seamless workflows and organizational growth.
All in all, investing in your process and employees will benefit a company in an exponential fashion. Change is an inevitable part of business, and one must initiate development throughout their organization to obtain a resilient culture. Even though we are facing unprecedented times, now is not the time to stay on the sideline, we must conquer each challenge by finding new opportunities to grow. Leveraging the expertise of our highly skilled professionals and partner resources can help you achieve a unique growth advantage.
About the Author:
Cornerstone Paradigm Consulting, LLC is an industry-agnostic business operations consulting firm that goes beyond the symptoms to get to the root cause of your business issues.