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6 steps to improve business efficiency

Many organizations are reluctant to step out of their comfort zone to make changes that can be beneficial to business performance.

6 steps to improve business efficiency


Need for change

If an organization is implementing a new accounting or employee performance management system, it's not uncommon for your managers to nod in understanding in public but actually sabotage the initiative.


Your employees may simply be shocked and not accept change . Moreover, the introduction of new management systems requires an infusion of funds for launch and support after implementation.


Whatever change your organization is undertaking, knowing and working on the necessary steps will go a long way to the success of your initiative.


These important steps are combined into a change process model. Below is a summary of the key features of each step leading to positive change.


Create tension

In this first step, articulate why the change needs to happen and why it needs to happen as planned. Many change programs start with a "big bang" but then go down the drain.


Therefore, programs are needed that fight for the development of the initial impulse . Think about the immediate force that will get your workers moving in the right direction.


These could be upcoming legislative changes, new market entrants, high levels of customer dissatisfaction, and so on.


Consider also the consequences of not changing, such as loss of market share or regulatory fines. To prepare the first step intelligently, collect as much data as possible to substantiate your claims.


Create communications

Next, analyze which key individuals are the decision makers, resource holders and those who can undermine your initiatives.


Start by identifying key stakeholder groups ; people who have something to lose or gain from your change proposal.


Include in your analysis the end users of new products or services, such as suppliers, customers, and end users of products.


Then create a communication plan that tailors communication content and style to the preferences of each stakeholder group. Make sure the lines of communication with each group are open throughout the process.


Formulate goals

This step involves defining your organization's desired outcomes in specific and measurable terms.


This will remove any uncertainty about your goal and outline where you want your organization to be at the end of the program.


Avoid superfluous goals such as "Improve Product Quality". Instead, involve stakeholders in concretizing meaningful and verifiable results, such as "50% reduction in customer complaints by year end."


Break goals into manageable chunks and establish a basis for comparison. Most importantly, set the measurement mode to help track progress.


Assign roles

Now that the goals are clear and agreed upon, place the responsibility for achieving them on the individual in your organization. Make sure you clearly define tasks for the people in each department.


Categories to consider:


  • drivers of change (eg program sponsor and steering committee);
  • change implementers (for example, project managers);
  • change activators (for example, supervisors);
  • recipients of changes (for example, operators).

Ensure that all participants have the necessary skills to carry out their duties and conduct training where skill gaps have been identified.


Give people the power to change the system

To ensure success, create a mechanism that allows people in your organization to make the necessary changes to the production process.


Providing such an opportunity for a simple worker means that each person can make a small contribution to improving the efficiency of the business and at the same time feel their personal importance.


Of course, such changes should be under the control of financial, technical and legal services.


Make a detailed training plan for staff after a proper analysis of the situation in the company and make sure that the training is effective.


Check if all of the company's supporting systems are up to par. These systems may include information, human resources and finance departments. Plan the purchases needed for system implementations and upgrades as part of the original change program plan.


Alteration

This final step is to consolidate the changes in order to make them “the way they should be”. To prevent a fallback to the old ways, align your organization's systems and culture with the new behavioral demands.


Encouraging a new way of working could mean creating feedback and reward systems for performance, celebrating some "quick wins", creating a new look and feel environment, and updating recruitment and selection criteria.


The above steps in the process of change to improve business performance have been confirmed by the experience of implementing successful initiatives in the past.


Failure to complete one or more of these important steps is a recipe for failure . On the other hand, implementing all these steps is no guarantee of success. Much depends on the skill of managers who implement changes, their innate ability to organize the process, as well as the very idea of ​​​​change.


Also, the change steps as described here are not meant to be performed in an exact linear fashion. Organizational change is messy. This way, you will sometimes go back to previous steps before you can move forward again.


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