It’s often said that a good job is never finished. Business leaders understand this concept well, as many face pressure to grow and compete in an increasingly crowded market. But is it better to change all at once or in degrees? For many people, small changes offer a chance to optimize their business strategy by giving them a chance to focus on continuous improvement.
This “change by degrees” approach helps break down overwhelmingly high-level organizational strategies into actionable sprints, as well as enable more stakeholders to own parts of an improvement strategy. Essentially, process improvement becomes iterative, with each sprint seeking to tweak or optimize the previous one. These finesse adjustments help businesses constantly audit and adjust their products, processes, strategies, and services. This ultimately drives more effective business outcomes.
For example, what if the concept of continuous improvement was applied to optimize internal HR strategies? Many HR professionals subscribe to human capital management (HCM) methodology. HCM focuses on an organization’s need to provide specific HR competencies, including:
Because HCM strategy is often supported by the use of a digital software solution or IT infrastructure, auditing and improving established tools and processes is key in ensuring each component of HCM strategy is effective.
There are, however, significant challenges to enacting organizational change. Data collected by Gallup suggests that 59 percent of employees aren’t sure what their company “stands for.” Traditional change management models have prioritized strict guidelines, processes, and rules handed down from executive leadership. This may not be the most effective way to engage in a CIP or to improve the employee experience through periods of adjustment and change.
HR teams should apply the concept of Kaizen to employee surveys in order to get more accurate results, while also gaining buy-in from employees regarding process improvements. Some of the benefits of using a CIP toward employee surveys can include:
An organization that includes employees in this way provides them with a greater understanding of overarching HR strategy, as well as a sense of partnership with company leaders.
Not only does this establish a framework for continuous improvement within the HR sphere, it also creates a workplace culture that values data-driven continuous improvement. A CIP approach to people management, for example, could involve regular check-ins with employees. At these check-ins, employees can communicate progress toward personal goals and examine how those goals impact overall business objectives. These performance dialogues help managers and employees adjust their behavior over time, incorporating workflow techniques they can apply in their day-to-day roles to drive productivity.
HR teams and business leaders can use digital tools to gather or crowdsource ideas from employees, as well as nominate high-impact, cross-functional individuals to manage tasks in a sprint. Not only does this method assign more accountability to action items in the improvement process, but it also helps to engage more employees throughout the organization.
Change shouldn’t be wholly managed and dictated by the C-suite. An organization that values the voice of every employee and empowers them to be part of the decision-making process will ultimately succeed in retaining and recruiting top talent.
Business leaders must remain committed to being nimble, constantly evolving their processes, products, and services to meet the fluctuating market. They must listen to every voice in their organization, and set a precedent for implementing new ideas. In HR strategy, as in business, continuous improvement is key in driving positive outcomes in the employee experience.
Heather Saunders; ECITB Product Dev. Platform ManagerBook a Demo