Having just watched the last episode of the series of Undercover Boss, I think there are some key lessons that we can learn from each of the episodes. Here are my thoughts on the lessons from the series:
Poor Communication Leads to Poor Performance - When a business grows it can be easy to lose touch with the people that work on the ground. Organisations MUST but practices into place where two way communication happens. Feedback must be sought from those that work on the ground. These are the people that are customer facing and know exactly what the issues are in the business.
If ideas and changes cannot be implemented, then feedback must be sent down through the workforce to help them to understand why changes cannot be made and what changes will be implemented.
If this communication does not happen, then the workforce quickly become demotivated as they feel as though they don't know what is going on.
Leaders and Managers Must Be Recruited/Promoted Based on Leadership Ability - It happens in many organisations where people are promoted based on their technical ability or the amount of time they have spent in the business. They are not promoted based on their ability to lead. It should be understood that just because someone is good at the technical aspects that they automatically can lead people.
Investment Should Be Made In Training and Development - In these tough times training budgets seem to get cut, but if organisations are not investing in training and development, they won't have the skilled workforce that is required to work in a lean and trimmed environment.
Customer Feedback Must Be Acted Upon - If a business has no process in place to seek customer feedback they will have no way in finding out what they like about the business and what they don't. Businesses need to use any tools available to seek feedback from their customers and changes made based on the feedback.
Processes Should Work For the Staff and Not Against Them - Policies and processes are a requirement of any business, but ultimately they should be there to make things clear and easy for the staff and not there to hinder them.
Inadequate or unclear policies and processes can bring a business to a standstill, generate low morale and impact on performance.
Policies and Processes should be made clear to everyone and they should also be accessible. Not only this, but processes should be joined together and work together. If the they are not, then the processes not only work against the staff, but they also work against each other.
The Leadership Team Need to Lead From the Front - If the leadership team want the people working in the business to live and breathe the values and work toward a vision, the ALL of the leadership team should be clear about what these values are and demonstrating themselves. It can be quite easy in large organisations for these values to become diluted as they work their way through the business and through each of the various levels in the business.
If everyone is to live and breathe values, then the leadership team at all levels must be clear about what they are, how to demonstrate them and demonstrate them at all times.
If you see some of these things happening in your business, then we can help. Take a look through our comprehensive website to see the services that we offer that can help.