Three Secrets for Operating an Effective Organization
Some companies and organization just seem to flourish. They continually increase their customer base; they thrive even in the “tough times;” they are innovative and forward-looking they have “brand loyalty.” So, how do they do it? A lot of research has been conducted on organizational effectiveness, and, when all of the studies report their results, no matter how they “couch” the language, there are three primary factors that support effectiveness.
1) Employee Empowerment
A happy employee is one who has been empowered by management to do what he or she needs to do (within reasonable boundaries) to ensure that customers have a good experience. An empowered employee is more likely to have a good relationship with regular customers, is more likely to feel empathy towards customers and co-workers, and is more likely to seek out solutions that involve teamwork and cooperation. Employers can empower staff by doing the following:
- Moving away from script-based solutions to customer service issues
- Rewarding employees who find creative ways to solve problems
- Encouraging employees to form friendly relationships with customers and a strong “team” relationship with fellow employees
- Welcoming employee input when defining operational procedures and solving problems
The organizational benefits to empowering employees include the following:
- Increased levels of personal accountability
- A greater understanding of the impact of their actions on the organization
- A willingness to plan and solve problems proactively
Increased employee involvement in organizational goals and problem-solving, as well as providing recognition and rewards, results in reduced turnover. And reduced turnover means that the organization operates smoothly and with everyone on the “same page.
Top-to-bottom and bottom-to-top – that’s the management communication style that really works! And here are some clues that an organization’s communication processes are effective and beneficial.
- There is information sharing that occurs horizontally and vertically – at all times and on all issues, policies and procedures. An organization’s goals, action plans, and problems should not be reserved for the board rooms or for the executives’ meetings. When all employees are “brought in,” they all develop ownership.
- Frequent and regular appraisals of departments and employees allow for specific goal-setting, an airing of problems, and mutually agreed-upon plans for improvement.
- Feedback on Training Endeavors: Training and development is a critical piece of an organization’s goal to remain current and to continually improve. It is just as important, however, to solicit honest feedback from those who have undergone such training, in order to understand where it succeeded and where it failed.
- An atmosphere of comfort that encourages all employees to present problems and to make recommendations for change and improvement. An ineffective organization suppresses employees’ ability to express concerns, and it shows in lack of productivity and loyalty.
3) Maximization of Productivity
Productivity is the result of two things: employee skill and commitment and proper resources. Effective organizations continually evaluate these two things:
- Are human resources allocated correctly? Are some departments “flush” with people while others are overburdened due to lack of enough staff? An effective organization regularly appraises how its employees are utilized and quickly corrects problems with allocations, under-utilizations, and incorrect use of employee skills and talents. Placing each employee in a position that is appropriate and also challenging makes for greater satisfaction and thus productivity.
- Are non-human resources not just adequate but fully positioned to promote greater productivity? Antiquated technology is a key detractor from productivity. Ineffective organizations will “muddle” along with outdated technology and other resources, while effective ones will regular evaluate their technology and update it frequently. When technology meets the demands of the people using it, and thus eases their frustrations and workloads, productivity naturally increases.
Measuring organization effectiveness is a relatively easy task, when it is done in relation to the 3 basic factors of effectiveness:
- Is there customer satisfaction?
- Are employees loyal and motivated?
- Is technology efficient?
If the right things are in place, effectiveness naturally follows!
Having a Master’s degree in Journalism and love for traveling, Julie Ellis is financed by her freelance writing to investigate and explore exotic places of the world. Being a Chief Editor at Premier Essay she, as well, features articles for journals and magazines around the world.