What is the biggest challenge you are anticipating leaders will need to deal with?
As distributed teams become more prevalent, one of the greatest challenges within distributed operations is identifying best practise and then sharing that with the broader organisation.
Ensuring business process consistency and maximising business process improvement is difficult enough with teams situated together in one location but adding the complexity of working from home can magnify gaps that companies have in their processes and communications in general. These gaps can be simple to fill but if they’re not addressed quickly, they could lead to losses in productivity.
What are some of the ways leaders can look to mitigate this?
There are three really important things here – communication, data and the right tools and training. As highlighted in Enlighten’s company roadmap’s article, everything starts with outlining the process, breaking it down and getting people onboard. The more connected employees feel with the organisation’s new vision and company roadmap, the better the employee engagement and the happier staff will be once we make the transition. We’ve then got to support that strategy with the access to really strong data.
You looked at meaningful metrics in your previous piece and here’s where that really plays a role. Granular operational data will provide visibility on activities and behaviours down to an individual level it and highlight any team variances that may exist.
Companies that have one source of performance data ensure data consistency and reliability. And finally, we’ve got to enable the human element with the tools that they need, such as the access to that single source of truth and the training to use it effectively in decision-making at the individual and departmental level. This will help to ensure consistent performance irrespective of the actual location of the team members.
How can leaders engage people in the journey with a productivity management program?
I’ve used the Enlighten Productivity Management in the past with teams that I’ve managed at different organisations to fully understand operational performance at a granular level in large teams, and in each case the team has been able to improve performance by over 20% by building the right-fit company roadmap. The way to get the best from the tool is to share the data you get from the system with your team.
You’re showing trust in their capabilities, a need for their unique contribution and a willingness to hear their voice in shaping the future. But this also needs to be managed properly.
Sharing good information is easy, it boosts confidence in the team, builds morale and fuels team performance. Interestingly I’ve also found that sharing poor performance metrics with the team to be almost as effective in improving performance. It allows collaboration in a way that gives teams the opportunity to own the data and the results, and to workshop and develop ideas on how we can improve performance.
A lot of the time, people actually doing the work understand company processes better than anyone and they’re often very well placed to suggest effective performance improvement initiatives to improve output.