18th June 2018

What’s holding your organisation back from high performance? The devil is in the detail

Blog post

HR Director has recently published our view on the critical roadblocks that are preventing good organisations from reaching their full growth potential.

Have a look and get in touch if you’d like to uncover the crux of the matter and truly understand what is keeping your company from success.

What’s holding your organisation back from high performance?

Even when companies have the right resources, smart and dedicated employees, a strong business strategy and high quality products or services, many don’t deliver the expected performance or desired business outcomes.

Something is holding the company back and no one can pinpoint the root of the problem…

Without understanding what exactly is wrong or out of sync, any potential solution or strategy only brings a temporary improvement. Sooner or later, the company in question always returns to dragging its anchor instead of sailing at full speed to gain market share.

So how can senior executives and HR specialists uncover the crux of the matter and truly understand what is keeping the company from success?

The answer lies within your workforce. Take a step back. Try to see the problem through broadened observation – circular vision.

While some organisational problems can be challenging, many also represent a great opportunity, both for improving existing best practices, protocols and standard operating procedures, and for growing and competing in the market by discovering new opportunities.

Problem-solving requires transparent communications from the bottom to the top and vice-versa.

To tackle the right problem you need to first ask the right questions.

Get to know your employees and how they feel about their work. Assess your team, understand their pain points and agree which areas need improving in order to create an environment where employees feel safe, valued and can thrive.

Try to determine if their goals and values are aligned with the company’s culture and if there are any unconscious beliefs and perceptions that are influencing how certain situations are handled within the company.

Another critical aspect you need to tackle is organisational structures and processeswhich translate into products, communications, corporate style, technology and how employees work and treat one another.

Making sense of what is happening at all levels in your organisation and understanding how these layers interact and intertwine with each other can be time consuming and expensive.

And, as companies grow, expand across the world and become increasingly complex, attaining relevant, objective information from each employee is increasingly challenging.

Therefore, cut the guesswork and rely on uncompromised data.

However tempting it might be at this stage, it’s crucial to avoid guessing. Take enough time to step back and assess the situation. What opportunities does each problem represent?

Make the problem solving process more efficient by recognising that each problem has its own nuances that may require a distinct strategy towards a viable resolution.

Also, as technology evolves, business leaders and HR specialists can now use a variety of digital tools and intelligence platforms for organisational sensemaking. These can connect with employees on an unprecedented scale and assess capabilities, resources and dysfunctions in a matter of minutes.

No matter what technology you choose, the most important thing is for employees to feel secure when they provide insight and feedback. Confidentiality and anonymity are key. In this way, you’ll learn their honest views and not what they think you want to hear.

A common mistake made by many leaders is to surround themselves with people who tell them what they want to hear rather than what they need to know. Razor sharp intelligence and uncompromised data are critical to making good, swift decisions.

Your employees know the company better than any consultant and can become a priceless source of strategic insight. Encourage them to identify the difficulties and dysfunctions encountered in their work and ask them to propose improvement initiatives.

With this approach, employees will feel their voice and opinions matter and you’ll get an accurate view of what tactical improvements are needed.

In this way you will rally the whole organisation around a shared understanding of the problem, why the company should tackle it and the level of resources that arerequired.

At the same time, you might discover a new strategic direction you haven’t considered before.

Now that you have a clear view of what is hindering your company’s progression and you have laid out an agile strategy to address the issues, you need to get your employees invested and engaged in a shared vision regarding the company’s future success.

Set clear objectives. Prioritise. Communicate goals, objectives and performance to the entire team.

Secure support and generate engagement by giving staff the freedom and authority to innovate. Break down silos and create a more flexible work environment. You also have to be prepared to make some tough decisions and demands.

Never stop readjusting your goals according to the company and team’s evolution.

There is no bulletproof recipe for increasing an organisation’s performance as each company is unique in its own way.

But with these guidelines in mind, the right tech tools, patience, discipline and perseverance you will definitely see a significant improvement in a short amount of time.


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