The economy has now recorded several years of strong, sustainable, growth. This growth has been underpinned by growing business investment, rising employment and wages, moderate inflation, and a rapid improvement in household balance sheets. The coming years are bound to see more moderate growth. Significant capacity constraints in the labour market are now materially impacting on companies’ expansion plans. Ibec Economic Outlook Q4 2019
Wow, what we wouldn’t have given for this problem a couple of years ago!
Nowadays, with so many competing priorities it’s hard to know where to begin. There is a higher expectation of performance and delivery from customers. They want value for money, high quality and immediate gratification, employees want a great place to work, steep career paths and managers committed to their personal development, stakeholders want their pound of
flesh, they want to spend less and get more and they too want it now and executed problem-free.
Considering Brexit, international political tensions and the threat of global recession, it’s a very uncertain world and the economic pundits are, of course, recommending caution. Just as well Christmas is coming.
How can we possibly navigate through all of this?
There is a way, but it does require a committed leadership team. Leaders must be devoted to developing their team to be the best they possibly can, every day. This requires a commitment to learning and development for the whole organisation. There are 5 key areas in any organisation that can help you create an engaging, value-driven environment.
In the world we live in today the customer has to be at the heart of everything you as a company, do. This requires you to have a customer-centric value proposition, that your employees are an integral part of, and that each employee understands how his/her role contributes to that proposition. An employee who understands how they fit into the bigger picture will be more engaged and committed to your overall goals.
Your leadership team must ensure that there is a clear view of where they want to go, how to get there and clearly communicate it to the team.
A major finding Ibec Economic Outlook Q4 2019 is the scarcity of capable people to drive our economy to the next level. When recruiting new team members ensure that they have the drive to match your ambition, fit the role, are proactive problem solvers and boost your company’s overall capability.
Once part of the team then it is important to look at their overall development to ensure they continue to remain engaged and feel valued. It is important to have individual plans for employees to allow them to grow and develop new and improve existing skills.
What does an environment that encourages engagement feel like?
Well for starters everyone feels appreciated and safe, people feel they can openly question and challenge each other’s ideas, as well as the status quo without reproach. People are encouraged to share knowledge, encouraging cross-learning among peers. This means that areas that have slack can help out those under pressure. Everyone can be a team player.
The environment must also encourage collaboration, vertically not just horizontally. Most importantly, leaders must promote that every interaction between all levels of employees reinforces core values; willingness to learn, trust, respect and excellence by living these themselves.
Faced with a scarcity of resources, one very smart area to tackle is the core processes of the organisation to ensure they are running as efficiently as possible. Your people are the ones best placed to ensure:
Lead by example! Leaders must emulate the behaviours and standards they expect from others. They must have a clear vision and communicate this in a way that motivates and encourages actions while removing any obstacles to success. Good leaders ask questions, understand what’s happening and why and then motivate their team to constantly improve what they do and how they do it.
An effective management system is a must to allow you to manage performance against objectives on a day to day basis. It facilitates early identification of issues and once you know about the issue you can make an informed decision on how to react.
It requires an investment in the organisation and commitment from you. It requires a real belief in the team that you have built. A large part of your day must be spent on nurturing and developing people. They will in turn surprise you with great process and great results. Don’t forget people don’t leave organisations who make them feel good about themselves, their achievements and their sense of belonging.
At LBS Partners we live in these 5 steps every day. All our engagements are designed to make individuals, and therefore processes, more capable. We do this every day. It is called Lean, but not as you know it.
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