What Internal Barriers Limit Your Business Success? - Business Times Column #119
If you’re like most business owners and managers, you strive to keep operations running smoothly and efficiently with as few interruptions to the flow of business as possible. But as you work to prevent or remove any blockages that limit your success and happiness, there are a number of key variables to keep in mind.
Barriers or blockages to business success come in many forms: ineffective systems and procedures, poor customer service, inconsistent quality and team members who lack the skills and behaviors necessary to communicate effectively. There are also
less-than-effective hiring practices, poor on-boarding and training, a lack of teamwork, low morale and team members whose negative attitudes and lack of desire prevent them from performing at consistently high levels.
These are just a some of the common blockages I help owners and managers identify and eliminate to enhance business performance and success.
How aware are you of the internal conditions limiting your operations? If you’re not mindful of your company’s blockages, your lack of awareness could prevent you from addressing them at all. Is this really a viable option if you want your business to stand out in the marketplace? If you are aware of the blockages in your business, you’re positioned to take the critical next step of understanding what they are, where and why they exist and how much they’re costing you in real terms.
To better clarify how you can identify and eliminate potential blockages keeping you from optimal levels of performance and success, let’s look at a few common culprits:
Attitude: While skills can be taught to individuals who want to learn, attitude is a different matter. Although many people are hired for their talents, it’s their attitudes and resulting behaviors that determine if they’re a blockage or asset in your business. Team members could be qualified to perform their jobs at a high level. But if they bring a consistently negative attitude to the workplace, their performance will be less than their best and, invariably, they will disrupt your operations in multiple ways. Bad attitudes are like a serious virus you can’t allow to spread throughout your company.
Talents and skills: All members of a professional team must possess the basic skills necessary to perform their jobs. If not, they’ll hinder the smooth and efficient operations of the business. While a person lacking the necessary skills to do the job potentially could constitute a good hire, they must compensate for that with a good attitude and strong desire to learn and grow. Otherwise, it’s a waste of time, effort and money to bring them on.
Desire: A lack of desire means team members don’t care enough to deliver superior job performance. When people don’t care, they also lack commitment and loyalty and are less efficient and productive. These team members will consistently produce lesser-quality products and services, resulting in unsatisfied customers. Just one team member can hurt the overall efforts of an entire team by dampening morale and damaging the work environment. Moreover, when owners and managers tolerate this type of attitude, they lose credibility with the rest of their teams.
Communication: Ineffective communication represents a primary, and often leading, barrier to businesses success. For this reason, effective communication that accurately conveys information, images, objectives, feelings and desires so that all parties are on a similar, if not the same, page must be highly valued and strongly encouraged. Clear and specific communication allows people and systems to work together seamlessly for superior results.
Not effectively addressing blockages in your business will only compound the situations limiting overall performance. Explore your business to see what blockages to the smooth and efficient flow of your operations you can discover. Strongly consider hiring a qualified professional to assist you in eliminating blockages in your business for good.
Think of blockages within your business in terms of a traffic jam. Progress and efficiency grinds to a halt. Frustration grows, tempers flare and everyone starts looking out for themselves. Errors increase, accidents occur and the blockage only grows worse. Once you’re through the traffic jam, all these things are reversed and there’s a feeling of relief and satisfaction as you’re free to continue down the road to success and happiness.