One of the biggest destroyers of productivity and morale in the workplace is complexity. It is a huge problem and one recognized by business leaders in every sector imaginable. But while acceptance is a huge step forward, it is pointless without a solution, it is pointless with a strategy to simplify the operations in your business.
To help you out, we have compiled a list of strategies adopted by the business leaders we spoke to, all of which aim to bring simplicity to your core business functions and not just to one-off projects.
Get Rid Of The Unnecessary Stuff
Every business has stupid rules and low-value activities that can be classed as unnecessary time-wasters. You have to accept that. A lot of the time business owners and managers are blind to these time-wasters, though, because they have been part of the process for so long that they are deemed necessary. But is it necessary to need six people to sign-off on expense reports or holiday allocation or small POs? These simple tasks can end added unnecessary stress on people and add to the complexity of each day, so start by shedding these forms of red-tape.
It’s All About Prioritisation
When you think about simplification, you need to think about how to better prioritize the way your business does business, and that means having a priority list. No. We did not say to-do list, we said priority list, which is different because it doesn’t give everything on the list the same value. So figure out what constitutes priority – time, money, process, ease – and go from there.
Invest In Technology
Technology has been the greatest advancement in the way that people live their lives, and it is no different in business. That means you need to start looking for ways technology can help you simplify your business. It could be that you start using a computer maintenance management system to oversee and track your assets. It could be that you get SatNav’s for all your pool cars to increase efficiencies. Or you start using video conferencing throughout your company. All of these will make overly-complex tasks much easier to manage.
Look From The Outside In
When you’re looking at what needs simplification, you should always be making your decision based on what value it adds to the customer or client. That means you have to be able to clarify what you are doing is what the customer wants, whether that be because it helps them, improves them or makes them more successful. That is what is going to be important to the customer, and so make sure it relays to your team and your processes. If you are unsure how to go about this, a great thing to do is to take your staff – or at least senior management and line managers – to your customer’s operational offices and see what they use your product or service for. With this information, you will be able to better understand how you can improve at your end in a way that will improve what they are getting.