The Question of the Day is “Why?” – Improving Business Effectiveness

 In BLOG, Business, Leadership, Motivation, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Children ask the question “why?”  on a daily basis. They want to know why things are the way they are? Why we are doing something? Why do we have to do anything? and then the question, how?

And why did this questioning stop? It is almost viewed negatively to question certain aspects at work, such as processes.  When processes are what need to be questioned! I guess in my mind questioning did not really stop, it just continued in silence. Some people question why they have to do the certain thing you asked them to do in that exact way or that many times. Questioning is healthy. It brings up a fresh perspective and new ideas. Personal questioning improves insight and personal development. When we are children we are considered little questioning entrepreneurs. Now, we are just going with the flow and someone else is labeled as an actual entrepreneur. I guess constant questioning can be viewed as a sort of nagging. Regardless, employees should have opportunities for harmless questioning while on their job. Who is to know their own job better than them? Or better yet, who is to know that there is one step too many? Managers or Presidents or CEOs should encourage questioning from their subordinates and from themselves. Why do we do the things we do the way we do them? What if you were to think 5 years ahead and say that “I wish at that time this is the way my job was done”? Is there a faster way to do something? Should some duties be divided and assigned to other employees? New employees? Less employees? Less steps? Or different steps?

Small amounts of turnover within a company can be good because it brings new perspectives and opportunities of attaining new talents. There is almost an internal drive to change everything the “old” employee used to do. And it is a good thing. The same change can occur when the experienced employee moves up within the company and a new employee takes his/her place. Unless you change it so much that you cannot efficiently complete your tasks anymore. I almost forgot to add internship and practicum opportunities that your company can offer to gain new fresh perspective and increase the odds of hiring future talent. My point is that companies do not always need a consultant to tell them what kind of efficiency/effectiveness improvements they need. The employees of the company can most of the time tell you what the problem is. You as a manger just have to listen. Now some of those problems are trickier and more expensive than fixing a template or taking out a step from the process. That is when you should hire a consultant, to help you maneuver those improvements you need to make. Stability for some time is good, too. After making some changes, let the business run and re-cooperate.

Those weekly meetings you have are a great place to get things off the chest but agendas are usually too full. Take time to mention to employees that their opinions matter in improving their efficiency and are welcomed when ever feasible. Let them know they can take steps in their own hands when feasible.  Why not have an improvement or idea of the month board? What if your company could save money and improve productivity by letting everyone work from home on Monday? Ok, I’ll let you think about it.

Happy inventing,

Vera

I decided to add an inspirational photo. It is a symbol of change, growth, and new things to come.

Flower
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Showing 5 comments
  • Mike Trotto
    Reply

    Your comment on kids asking why all the time is very insightful. It is the inquisitiveness of youth that fosters their development. So why wouldn’t it be the same for adults? Always ask questions. Its how we learn and grow. And shame on the person that squashes the youthful spirit.

  • Anonymous
    Reply

    Thank you, Mike! I completely agree.

  • Ranu
    Reply

    Loved your insights and deep thoughts on life in general. This is a different Vera than I have known (mostly at work). I think that you may have a frequent visitor (me) to your website. So keep writing…..

  • Anonymous
    Reply

    Thank you, Ranu! :)

  • Steve Mars
    Reply

    Vera, I enjoyed reading this blog and plan to read the others. I agree with you about encouraging employees to ask questions especially the "why" question. And company leaders should certainly not give an impression that asking questions is viewed as negative. I like to look at this from a slightly different perspective. Company leaders should anticipate that employees always want to know the answer to "why" so they should be proactive in communicating the answer. Employees will appreciate leaders that are sensitive to what they want and need.

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