For business managers, it can sometimes be difficult to create policies and procedures that allow for the efficiency that they’d like to see from their business. Business growth leads to more complex situations which in turn demand more complex procedures. This enhanced complexity can not only get constant in that you need to alter the way things are done, you also could fall into the trap of mistakenly putting productivity roadblocks up that can alter the way your business operates.
In this blog, we will discuss why creating a bureaucracy in business can often be inevitable, yet counterproductive nevertheless.
The idea behind forming any kind of organizational hierarchy is generally one of efficiency. The thought is that the purpose of bureaucracy is to generate operational efficiency by keeping processes unambiguous and consistent. That being said, bureaucracy can often lead to rigid processes and inflexibility, which creates more inefficiencies through all the hoops that people need to navigate and jump through. It’s all a question of how much oversight a given bureaucracy relies on, and how that oversight is practiced.
In order to properly paint a picture of why too much oversight is a bad thing for your business all you have to do is look at how governments work. The more bureaucracy any government has, the less efficient it will be. The same goes for businesses. If you have too much in the way of middle management, progress can grind to a halt as workers will need several people in supposed authority to sign off on any of them. This only becomes a more prevalent problem as a business grows in size and operational scope. So, what can be done to focus on your efficiency without taking on these negative ramifications?
There are a few things:
We’ve already mentioned that the entire bureaucratic system is intended—at least partially—to establish some level of consistency in an organization’s processes, which helps to ensure an acceptable quality of service is maintained. Issues arise, however, when these systems are followed so fanatically that no adjustments can be made…even when these adjustments would offer significant benefits over the existing process.
To avoid this outcome, it is important that your systems are designed to be adjusted as the need arises, or even altered as larger circumstances change.
On a related note, the kind of rigidity that we’ve been discussing often comes from an aversion to stepping up and taking risks, particularly if there has already been a pattern of new ideas being smothered or even punished. Let me ask you this: if you were berated each time you identified a problem for not doing so sooner, how long would it be before you simply gave up on identifying them? Encouraging your team members to try and come up with new solutions and giving them the freedom to make mistakes as they do so will empower them to more effectively improve upon the business.
Sure, it’s all well and good to list off these platitudes as though they mean something. It will do you no good, however, if your actions don’t line up to what you claim you want for your organization. Don’t be afraid to start teaching your team members to question existing processes and keep an eye out for opportunities to improve them from the very beginning. If the opportunity arises, keep these behaviors in mind when a role opens up that needs someone to be promoted to fill it. Rewarding the mindset you want to encourage is a very effective way to signal what it is you hope to see from your team.
In order for your team to make the most of its time, it is also important for them to have reliable access to the right tools for the job. That’s our specialty. Give us a call at (504) 840-9800 ext. 105 to learn how our managed services can directly benefit your operations.