“I’m here to pay my bills!”
“I don’t care, will do whatever they ask me to.”
“We can do this better, but we don’t have the right tools.”
“I’ve raised this so many times, but who cares?”
“They’re bleeding money, trust me, we can get this done cheaper in-house.”
“Getting this solution approved is a lengthy process.”
Most of us would have heard the above statements in one form or another, some indicators of an ineffective work environment and a struggling business. In such cases, observing chaos and ‘wastes’ in operation, calls for immediate attention and inevitable intervention.
People are the most essential and critical asset of any business. The success of an organisation going through a transformation program is directly dependent on its Engaged, Enabled and Empowered employees.
The first and foremost action is to promote Engagement – getting the buy-in and alignment to organisation’s vision. Precisely communicating ‘The Purpose’ or ‘The Why’ and how one’s daily work contributes to achieving ‘the purpose’ is a powerful way to start the journey. This overarching dialogue needs to be supported by systematic elimination of niggling issues that lead to daily distractions and frustrations. Ultimately, it’s the action on Gemba (the real place where the value is created) that speaks louder than any town-hall meeting or offsite team binding workshop.
A business with disengaged employees loses productivity. Having that said, the one failing to provide necessary support to an engaged team is at a risk of losing good employees. If you don’t enable your engaged team with the right processes, equipment and training, they will either fall back to an “I don’t care” attitude or leave the organisation to fulfill their needs. Everyone aims to add value at work, and if the business equips them with the required knowledge and support, they will positively deliver that value.
The last element for cultivating a high performing culture is Empowerment. It is a mutual agreement of trust, the delegation of authority, ownership and acceptance of the accountability and making/supporting the decisions without any repercussions. Yes! mistakes will be made but, so will be lessons learnt. A conscious effort to develop thought leadership and implement the right governance framework to support communications and encourage constructive feedback will ensure a constant focus on strategic objectives.
Focusing on people engagement and development will create a winning culture, that delivers sustainable business improvements and provide that competitive edge in the market.