13. Oct. 2016

What tells the most effective organisations apart?

by Kaizen Institute UK

It's got everything to do with the way a leader acts with his team. 

In the North American television show "Undercover Boss", directors change their image, name and life story to pass off as recent employees so they can investigate from within the way the company is working, as well as the professional and personal challenges of their own employees.

 

This experience is interesting because it allows the leader to better understand employees and the way they work. This in-depth knowledge of the reality of the organization, acquired in the field, should be mainstreamed throughout all areas of activity and departments.

 

So, for people leading a team in an office or coordinating a network of shops, for example, these are a few fundamentals:

 

Know the company and employees: it is essential to make the trip to the ground a common practice, which will bring benefits to your leadership and, in turn, the profitability of the organization. In companies where decision-making is based on data collected by third parties, knowledge is often skewed by all exceptions that characterise the day-to-day. Therefore, it is important to maintain direct contact with the employees and the company, giving the leader a more realistic view of the operation.

 

Check the processes used: One of the good practices of leaders is to make confirmation processes, or walk the talk. Showing you how instead of telling how. It is essential to create routines to visit the ground and to monitor employees so as to verify that established procedures are being followed and that results are being achieved. The leader must do this work regularly, opting for a structured follow-up, for example using a check-list and always listening to the opinions of the employees. The purpose of this methodology is not to control employees, but rather to verify that the processes are being implemented efficiently.

 

Identify gaps and work: This method can increase the ability to question current working practices and the possibility of correcting deviations in the way of working, ensuring that employees perform tasks in accordance to the procedures established by the organisation. In case they don't, you can identify the causes and take corrective action, allowing to identify knowledge gaps. This way you can decrease the distance between the leader and where the processes are carried out and it will be possible for a leader to act at an early stage, with visible results for the company's productivity.

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