We all want to do a good job at work. We want to be productive and successful. However, business processes and company cultures can create complexities that hinder our ability to be our best. Simplifying things for our company and our customers is no doubt essential. But we also need to focus on simplifying things for individuals.
Individual simplicity unleashes potential and innovation, and ultimately impacts the bottom line and customer satisfaction.
A new eBook from the Jensen Group, “Building Simpler Corporate Cultures”, gives great insights into the necessity and benefits of individual simplicity.
In an organization, trust goes both ways. Leaders need to earn trust, and conversely, individuals want their leaders to trust them. According to Interaction Associates/IDG, only 4 in 10 employees trust their boss. Leaders can earn trust by walking the walk when it comes to creating a culture of simplification. Leaders can make simplification a priority and consistently reward simplification efforts. Inspire people to identify areas that can be simplified. Ensure that those efforts are recognized and rewarded to encourage others. Leaders should also be decisive and make decisions quickly when opportunities for simplification arise. Leaders in turn should trust employees. If employees are trusted, they are empowered.
The Jensen Group describes simplicity as power. Those with more power have it easier. Those with less power face greater complexities. For example, executives rarely have to spend lots of cycles submitting expense reports or following multi-step operational processes. Power, and therefore empowerment, will enable Individual simplification. Leaders should empower people to make decisions, take risks, and be ok with failure. Requiring multiple levels of approval and inspection creates complexity and is demotivating. Instead, leaders should take the role of facilitator or guide.
According to Gallup, as few as 13% of employees are fully or actively engaged. Engaged employees are more likely to innovate, and that impacts the bottom line. People want to know that their work has an impact — when they see that, they become more engaged. Also, leaders can make work a fun place to be. People can perform tasks and work for any company or department, but they will perform their best and stay longer if they enjoy themselves.
Check in on the results
There are ways to tell if there is a culture of individual simplification. Leaders will see career development in employees, along with innovation and an increase in the number of people who enjoy their work. These traits are contagious, so one example of successful individual simplicity will proliferate across teams, departments, and the entire organization. Imagine an organization where everyone can do and be their best!
For more simplification strategies, see The Time For Simplification Is Now: Why It’s Important And How You Can Get Started Today.