Your company is stagnating. Maybe it's not actively losing money, but it's not really growing either. Nothing is really happening anymore, and nobody is really excited about what isn't happening. It's time for a change. Not a complete overhaul. Nothing too drastic, that can end in disaster. Just a few simple pick-me-ups, to get things going again. Here are some basic changes you can make to your company over the next 90 days to reinvent your workplace.
- Get employee input. The first thing you need to do to reinvent your company is to get rid of the dead weight. This may mean firing people who are redundant or not pulling their share of the load, but that's a little drastic. A better place to start is not with people, but with processes. Each department has a standard methodology for performing its tasks. More often than not, those standard practices are designed and implemented by management. And unfortunately, management doesn't always know what's best. The ones who know the department best, and how it works, are the employees who are in the thick of it every day. Talk to both employees and supervisors in each department and find out what can be changed to make processes go more smoothly, work more efficiently, and create a better, more dynamic working environment.
- Create a plan. Once you've got an idea of how each department can be improved, create a plan for restructuring the company as a whole. Start with the suggestions people have made, and then look at how departments interact with one another and contribute to the company as a whole. Use that information to create new company policies and best practices that are geared towards a more efficient, more dynamic workplace. You can also look for books at retailers like Barnes & Noble, or at libraries, that can aid in your planning.
- Encourage communication. Some managers keep their employees on a very tight leash, constantly keeping tabs on them, sending them frequent e-mails with more and more instructions, etc. Other managers just sit back and let their employees do their own thing, only stepping in after a task has been completed, to tell them why it's wrong. "Neither of these methods is helpful to your workplace or employees. Instead," says Zach Atherton, founder of Laugh and Learn Workshop, "you need to encourage actual, two-way communication: not just instructions and mandates. Set up a group chat via an instant message platform, wherein project teams can keep in contact, asking questions or making suggestions when necessary. Have regular meetings or Skype sessions, too, to keep everyone updated on what's going on. This allows you not only to keep everyone in the loop, but to create an actual dialogue between team members, and between employees and management, rather than managers simply issuing instructions from on high, and employees asking questions of managers who aren't up to date on what's going on.
- Encourage collaboration. Every employee and department in your company is working towards the same overall goal: make the company successful. Unfortunately, each department tends to work in a bubble, concentrating on its own tasks without thinking about how those tasks fit into the whole. So in addition to encouraging communication across departments, encourage collaboration between departments. Does engineering know how the products they design are going to be marketed? Does marketing know how the leads they bring in are being handled by sales? Often, different departments tend to work at cross purposes, and even actively dislike one another. Instead, encourage them to work together, or at least communicate with one another, so that everyone's on the same page, working towards the same goal.
- Measure your progress. Whatever changes you make in your company, big or small, it's important to make sure they're actually working. Any new policies or procedures need a system in place for measuring their effectiveness. Is this helping to make your workplace more dynamic? Is it improving employee morale? Increasing revenue? And if not, then why not? Figure out what's working and what isn't with regards to your new policies, and make changes accordingly. You may have a 90 day program for reinvention, but general improvement of your workplace should be an ongoing process.
Don't go crazy in reinventing your workplace. Unless you're in seriously dire straits, a complete overhaul of your company will do more harm than good, as employees struggle to get used to an entirely new way of doing things. Instead, start small. Make little changes that will encourage growth and improvement and make things more productive and more enjoyable. You don't have to reinvent the wheel to reinvent your workplace.