Continual Improvement and How It Can Better Your Business
In my most recent blog post, I shared with you my goal for this year, which is to understand my coworkers more as people, rather than just focusing heavily on the work we do and how it is done. A major strategy behind this goal is the concept of Continual Improvement. For many companies, this means identifying major issues in their current workflows or processes to improve the way they are doing work. Sounds pretty simple, right? While this is a smart strategy to follow in any workplace, one key aspect that some businesses fail to place focus on is the crucial role their people play when it comes to successfully executing this strategy.
Continual improvement to existing processes is something that cannot be done well without taking into account the input from the people that are doing the work. You can be the most organized, process-oriented person in the world, but if you are not receiving feedback from the team that is involved in that process on a regular basis, how can you really know that it is working the way it was created to?
One of the best ways you can gather this feedback is to create an open and trusting environment in which your team can share the current issues they are experiencing with the processes they are involved in. Taking time to listen and understand the unique perspectives of each team member will help you determine what aspects of the process are working well, and what may need to be tweaked. Moving the focus to the team rather than strictly focusing on just the process itself will uncover ideas and creative solutions that you may not have thought of on your own.
Continual improvement is not about creating the “perfect” process for your company or fine-tuning every little step within a workflow. It is about finding that balance between process and people, and believing that there is always an opportunity to learn and grow. Next time you think a process within your company might need a makeover, start by putting your team first. I’ve learned that by doing this, it leads to extraordinary things.