Are You Addressing Barriers To Business Success? - Column #146
Internal barriers or blockages to business success come in many forms: ineffective hiring practices, poor on-boarding and training, bad teamwork, low morale and team members whose lack of desire and negative attitudes prevent them from performing at consistently high levels.
That’s not to mention less than effective systems and procedures, inferior customer service, inconsistent quality of products and team members who lack the skills and behaviors necessary to communicate effectively.
These are just some of the common blockages I help business owners and managers identify and eliminate to improve performance and success.
If you’re like the typical owner or manager, you strive to keep operations running smoothly and efficiently with as few interruptions to the flow of business as possible.
A vital component in preventing or removing any blockages that limit your happiness and success is the development of a bigger picture awareness of operations. 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 will likely 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 blockages in your business, then 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 that prevent optimal levels of performance and success, let’s look at a few common culprits:
Communication: Poor communication is a primary, and often times leading, barrier to businesses success. For this reason, effective communication — communication that accurately conveys information, images, objectives, feelings and desires so 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.
Talents and skills: All members of a professional team must possess the basic skills necessary to perform their jobs. If not, they’ll hinder smooth and efficient operations. 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.
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 might be qualified to perform their jobs at high levels. But if they bring a consistently negative attitude to the workplace, their performance will be less than their best and invariably, they’ll disrupt your operations in multiple ways. Negativity and bad attitudes constitute serious viruses you can’t allow to spread through your company.
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 inferior products and services, resulting in dissatisfied customers. Just one team member can hurt the overall positive efforts of an entire team. They have a dampening effect on team morale and damage the work environment. When an owner or manager tolerates this type of attitude, they lose credibility with the rest of the team.
Think of blockages in your business in terms of a traffic jam. Progress and efficiency grind to a halt. Frustration grows, tempers flare and everyone starts looking out for themselves. Errors increase, accidents occur and the blockage only becomes worse. Once you’re through the traffic jam, all of these things are reversed and there’s a feeling of relief and satisfaction as you are freed to continue down the road to happiness and success.
Not effectively addressing the 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. Consider hiring a qualified professional to assist you in identifying and eliminating blockages in your business for good.