The nature of modern business dictates that we change with the (ever-changing) times. That’s it! But it’s not as simple as bringing in new software once every 14 months. Whenever we are in charge of an organization we experience pressures unlike the normal day-to-day pressures. There is a need for products to be pushed and targets to be met, but this is just the standard-issue stress. What is the effect of these stresses, not just on the leaders, but on the business as a whole? Running a company using the “tried and tested” methods of business processes doesn’t seem to gel now. There are higher reports of stress-related illnesses, and the amount of workers on the “shop floor” level that are turned over, coupled with worker contracts being temporary, means that staff are feeling the pressures on every level. Everyone is being stretched to within an inch of their life, and it has a detrimental effect on the staff and the company. It means that we are not as productive, but have turned our seemingly dynamic company into a factory-line operation. This is not the way a company operates at its best. Factory-line mentality equals punch-in/punch-out, going through the motions and “work” being given a negative connotation. It doesn’t have to be like this. What is the answer?
The modern organization benefits from the holistic approach to business. The word holistic suffers from some negative connotations too, and it sounds like a new-age, hippy-esque manner of conducting business. The fact is that it could be the approach that saves your company from the doldrums. Being holistic is to understand that every part is connected on an intimate level and can only be understood by reference to the whole. Understanding that your business is more than the sum of its parts is the first step to undertaking a holistic assessment of your company. This is something that a lot of people simply feel like they don’t have the time to do. The business is compartmentalized and runs “like clockwork” purely because the processes are tried and tested, and what use is changing something if it works, right? But what if those processes are so long-winded that they cost the company more than money? What if these processes are wasteful? Using IT services that are “proactive” rather than “reactive” means that you are taking prevention to the next rung of the ladder. The nature of reactive IT companies is like waiting for Vesuvius to erupt before starting to save the people of Pompeii. In short = pointless. A proactive company when it comes to IT protection means a better method for keeping your business threat-free in the long-run. We can install as much software as we want, but the nature of viruses changing means that we need a company with the know-how. Holistically, there are many companies from all aspects of the industry taking this type of approach. Tech is an important part of any business, but there is one more thing that is even more so, your staff.
It is easier for you to keep pushing your business until you get the right results, but this is like cutting your nose off to spite your face. You will see benefits in one area, but it will detract from another. So really, are you any better off? Taking the holistic approach to investing in your staff in other ways instead of the pressure approach will benefit your company twofold. You will see better returns in productivity which will improve your business efficiency, and you will see a better enthusiasm in the company from all areas. We go to work because we have to, which is a very antiquated concept, and it shows. We seek pleasure from social media and quick fixes, which leads to FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) syndrome and seeking solace in sugar. What does this have to do with running a business? Understanding the causes of a lack of productivity, from the team leaders to something as basic as diet will show you a cycle of apathy from workers, and this is a very simple side effect of running on fumes. The investment you can make back into your staff is a very worthy one. By only entrusting them to do basic tasks indicates a lack of trust, so why don’t you give them a bite of the cherry? A good start is just to ask for feedback. Honest feedback. This can be a risky thing to do because people may not feel so inclined to reveal their true feelings about a business because they may feel compromised in one way or another, or could even lose their job if they are on a temporary contract or a freelance one. This is where trust is more important than ever, and it all stems from the leader. If you have run a business for some time, it can be a harder thing to undo, especially when you have been taking the “do what I say” approach, but it is a thing that can mean bigger returns in every part of the company. If you are concerned about your overheads, or you are down in productivity, this is where people become your greatest asset, not your technology or analytics. Transparency is a big term for organizations now, and for it to work effectively, it needs to be a case of lead by example, rather than with an iron fist.
The holistic methods that people integrate into their companies can take many forms, but as we develop new processes, taking the angle from how a staff member can benefit instead of the company is an investment that newer businesses are making now. Look at the startups that are making waves, they invest in employee downtime, little treats to promote happiness, and even make the work environment as un-work-like as it can be. People are reacting more to how an organization feels now rather than the paycheck, and by giving your business an assessment of a holistic nature, this can be the overhaul your company really needs.