It’s time to upgrade HOW you work.

by Rob Sheppard

[Approx. 4-minute read]

One of the ‘inflection points’ you’ll recognise in your business is when you see the need to move from one way of working into more specific and [generally] electronic solutions that enhance or complement work.

It could be moving from an excel spreadsheet to using a Sharepoint List that links to other libraries of information or upgrading how your team communicates using video or cloud-based technology to work remotely.

It might even be subscribing to a platform that specifically manages the flow of work, timesheets and accounting backend that a growing business needs to manage (like Workflow Max which is sadly coming to an end in 2024).

Why should you worry?

In a post-Covid business world, most business owners will recognise the world has changed – especially around attracting and retaining people (thank you again Covid).

Businesses are now expected to be more flexible in the ‘way’ they offer work just to stay competitive – it’s no longer good enough to say the need to improve efficiencies in ways of work is driven by business efficiencies that can impact profits.

Instead, this discussion must also include how we make life easier for the other side to the business – the people.

And here’s the ‘plain truth’ to why…

It’s not even your decision…

The balance of power in this drive to improve efficiencies has turned somewhat in favour of the individual as they now have a choice in why they might want to work (and remain) with you.

Their answer to this question can indeed be affected by a variety of factors …. however, and as you can no doubts guess, this includes how you help them undertake their work.

Starting with what will benefit the whole and then working down to individuals, businesses that make work-life easier can add a distinct advantage to their Employee Value Proposition – and in a tight labour market, this will be important.

The balance of employment power has turned to the individual…

Having said that, it does not mean that a business can’t combine people outcomes and meet its needs at the same time.

Better systems can benefit both parties. For example:

  • Remove or reduce repetitive tasks.
  • Create better Client experiences.
  • Create better internal communication flows.
  • Provide immediacy of how work is being managed and roadblocks.

The bottom lines to being workflow aware.

Implementing a system to achieve strategic aims (such as reducing repetitive tasks) can have a flow on effect to two key ingredients for a thriving (not just surviving) business.

  1. Increased productivity
  2. Increased team satisfaction (which in theory translates to retention)

With the added bonus that being ‘more productive’ also means a business can theoretically do ‘more with less’.

A business in this position might find they will continue to manage their short-term outputs while surviving the bumps that come from having to suddenly find another human for the team.

Conversely, finding that next team member is possibly easier when you have a way of working that makes their life easier.

… engagement can be affected by a variety of factors …. including how you help individuals undertake their work.

What is your plan?

With an awareness of the importance of upgrading ‘how you offer work’, you can plan.

There are plenty of gurus with articles on this so Dr Google away. In the meantime, here are three points to get you started:

  • Plan your future Business needs – a system at first glance will always ‘look’ good [and keep it initially simple].
  • Ask what will benefit the individual – [this should] include an actual conversation of what they think will help them.
  • Messages are key to the change management that will be needed. Raising ‘awareness’ and ‘desire’ to be part of the solution is fundamental to change, especially when the benefit is for the business at first glance.

The above also assumes that you will have chatted to your accountant or business coach before kicking off of course :).

And if it’s all still confusing?

If you need help or have a sense this might be a future issue for you and your business, please click the link below and we’ll be happy to speak to you about any ideas this article has raised for you (or your team).

Thanks for reading!