Imagine you open a café. It’s your first day; you’ve bought the best ingredients for the sandwiches, the freshest coffee beans, and the staff are ready and trained for the influx of customers. Customers are lining outside the door waiting to taste your products, however, the second-hand coffee machine you have bought only pulls one coffee at a time. The server is getting flustered as customers want to pay with their card but you don’t have a card machine. There is a pile of dishes at the sink needing to be washed; no dishwasher machine. You can see that the staff are trying their best, but at the end of the day, it becomes clear how much better the service and experience would be for customers if the employees had the right equipment for them to use when they needed it. This is the way you need to be thinking about your own business.
My experience working for different companies and businesses has allowed me to see first-hand how little attention is given to employees and the tools they need for their work. The focus needs to stray away from sales goals, deadlines and resolving issues and turn your attention to the journey of these outcomes. We know they can be achieved, but can they be achieved in a more efficient way? Take a moment to reflect and consider your own business.
It’s easy to believe your employees are doing their best work possible, but it’s important to regularly check-in with your team to find out if the services/technology they are using in your business is working efficiently to their advantage. Encourage your team to speak up if they feel like something they are using anything can be improved. This way you can investigate whether there is an alternative solution or if the change can be implemented easily. As a leader, it is imperative that you find the best tools so that your employees can be successful in their day to day work.
While it is important to collaborate with your team, it is equally as important to listen to your customers. Identify the most common issues that your company faces with its customers and sit down with your team. Discuss what tools are needed to ensure a more efficient way of dealing with the issues. This might look like a new software or email system that handles email inquiries, providing extra training for your employees on how to handle the issues or providing your team with marketing strategies or materials so that the issues are less likely to occur. It is up to you and your team to find out which tools work for them and your business as a whole.
By taking extra consideration for the tools you provide at your business, it will not only strengthen the abilities of your team but will also ensure that the overall goal can be achieved in a shorter space of time. This might also free up some extra time for your team to begin other projects within the organisation.
Creating a culture of continuous improvement within your business will not only ensure that your team and business are always striving to do their best work, but it will keep you ahead of the competition. You will soon lead by example because your standard becomes higher. I also believe that providing the best tools for employees in your business leads to a harmonious and less stressful workplace and therefore you can expect better productivity. The higher quality of work will inevitably lead to happier customers.