Financial challenges? Trust your people… they know the answer!
Sounds rather simple doesn’t it?
You are looking to cut costs, be more efficient, innovative, improve business performance.
But, are you engaging your people on this mission?
You want to cut costs and make savings to finance performance improvements and deliver double-digit growth.
Is this clear to your people?
Have you empowered them to support it?
When you are looking at financial or general performance challenges, the people doing the work have the expertise and the answers. The key is providing them with the empowerment to do something. Giving people permission to take decisions, calculated risks, use their expertise as they see fit.
Are you enabling your people in their expert area do they ‘own’ it inclusive of costs? Do people have the opportunity, the channel to communicate about costs and the support to share what needs to happen to improve costs and overall performance?
How are you unlocking the power of your people to address costs, efficiency, performance and culture of your business to enable you to grow?
You have invested hundreds of thousands (insert any currency!) in hiring your people. You may have also spent the same on training and development, making sure you have the best expertise possible.
You hired great people for their fantastic skills, experience, attitudes. But, do they really have the opportunity to shine bright?
Experience suggests that few businesses really make the most of trusting their people to shine bright to solve critical business challenges. When they do it’s a Win-Win.
All too often people are caught up in firefighting, operational bureaucracy, meetings with no clear objective or outcome, lack of clarity, focus, objectives or even understanding what is working, let alone being able to fix what’s not.
Why do so many businesses seem to forget that when you are looking to cut costs, be more efficient etc etc the answer is right there, in your hands. Financial performance challenges? Trust your people, they know the answer…
Try a couple of these to feel the difference.
- Ask the experts – ask the process ‘owners’ their thoughts and ideas of what’s working, what’s not and where they believe improvements can be made. Inefficient processes are a pull on all resources, time, people, costs. How often are you looking at what worked before and what you need now? How often do you set yourself a challenge to question the status quo? Ask and empower the experts to make changes and where they need your support.
- Showcase the experts – have a regular opportunity for key budget or process owners to showcase their area, the costs, the savings, the metrics and measures they use and the support they need to improve. Behaviour breeds behaviour the more people are aware of the challenges and how functions work the more engaged they become. Thoughts and ideas percolate once stimulated!
- Cut costs – If every employee in your business was asked for ideas of how you could save £1000 every month, what would you learn? Most employees have a wealth of experience from other companies, they know the processes, the inputs, outputs of their day to day, they know what’s working, what’s not, what’s good value, what’s not, they know other companies that provide different services, they network, attend external events, read, listen to podcasts. Employees are your 24/7 market research, fonts of knowledge. How often do you tap into their insights?
- Incentivise to save – if the above was deployed could you give back in terms of recognition and reward? This doesn’t have to be financial. Showcasing ideas from employees, sharing the impact and the outcome encourages others to get involved. Communicating the benefits of savings to your people helps educate on the possibilities and the opportunity they have, to make a difference.
- Challenge and compete – A monthly challenge on ways of working, innovation, test and learn initiatives can encourage some light-hearted competitive spirit to challenge each other’s thinking and opportunity. Introduce SLAM teams (self-organizing, lean, autonomous, and multidisciplinary). People who are closest to the problem can work on solving it. SLAM teams must be small enough and have enough freedom to function to test ideas and learn more about their potential.
Lots to think about. Financial or general performance challenges can always be overcome, if you trust your people, they know the answer.
If you need some help to get you investigating your cost challenge, let’s have a virtual cuppa to see how I can help you unlock the power of your people.