How to Organize Your Business: 5 Lies to Stop Telling Yourself

Executing on Plans / October 9, 2014 / Kristie

There are lies that exist that many managers tell themselves so frequently that they start to believe them. These lies are formulated as a defence mechanism in order to pass responsibility from themselves onto other employees or even worse, to unavoidable circumstances.

By believing these lies, managers feel that they are doing an adequate job and that any problems that arise are due to employee incompetence or forces of nature that are out of their control.  While freak accidents and employee mistakes do happen, the majority of instances can be avoided through properly organizing your business.

5 lies

Here are some of the lies told by managers. Do any of these sound familiar?

#1 My employees are performing poorly because they are lazy.

We all get a case of the Mondays every once in a while when we just really don’t feel like working. However, if your employees are constantly delivering below expectation then maybe they aren’t the problem- you are. In an article on Pynter by Jill Geisier titled 7 Questions Managers Should Ask before Assuming Someone is ‘Lazy’, Geisier explains that often the reason employees under perform is not due to the employee, but rather the way they are managed. Some of these reasons are that the employee don’t feel that they have enough power to make decisions to move forward or that they are not given enough direction.

For an organization to function as a team they need to be organized and that means everyone being on the same page. If you have goals and a direction that you want to take your company, then share those goals with your employees. When employees are aware of the overall direction of the company, they are better equipped with the knowledge to make decisions and prioritize tasks. Direction also helps to motivate employees because there is a common goal that everyone is working towards. When you’re wandering aimlessly, it’s hard to get there fast.

#2 Creating a lot of processes will increase productivity

It’s important to have routine processes in order to maintain consistency and keep your business organized, but too many processes becomes cumbersome and wastes time. In an article from FastCompany by Lisa Bodell titled 5 Ways Process is Killing Your Productivity, Bodell explains how time is eaten up by unnecessary levels of decision making and collaboration. While gaining feedback and final approval from team members can be helpful, too much eats into your time and makes employees feel demotivated. When your employees have the power to make necessary decisions, they can accomplish more because they aren’t bogged down by having to run every idea by numerous people for approval.

Rather than creating numerous processes that handcuff employees from making decisions and moving forward, organize your business by spending time to streamline your process in a way that maximizes efficiency. Discuss the overall vision and let employees be inspired to take on responsibilities. Establish necessary lines of communication so people can share information to make important decisions, but allow your employees to be responsible for their own deliverables in whatever way works best for them. Schedule checkpoints so everyone knows when portions of the main goal are due so they can schedule their time and manage tasks accordingly.

#3 My team is not disorganized, we’re just too busy

Let’s face it, time isn’t always on your side. Some days you look at the clock thinking it’s only 10am and then realize you’ve already missed your lunch break. If you find your team is constantly racing against the clock, maybe it’s time to assess your deliverables and deadlines. To keep your business organized and focussed, clear out unnecessary clutter and tasks.

Avoid scheduling unnecessary meetings that eat up time and load more unnecessary tasks on people’s plates. Focus your efforts on what is directly important to the main goal. This allows your employees to adequately prioritize their time so that their important tasks are completed without unnecessary distractions and attempts at multi-tasking. A good way to asses where your employees time is spent now vs where it should be spent, is with Stephen Covey’s Time Management Matrix.

#4 We have poor customer service because my employees don’t care

If the real answer to poor customer service in your company is because your employees don’t care, then your real problem is that you haven’t hired the right people for the job. If this is the case, I suggest reading How to Hire right the First Time.

Another possibility is that your employees do care, but are not provided with the proper training or encouragement. If your employees do not receive adequate training for their job, then they can’t be expected to perform to your standards. They need the proper tools and objectives to succeed. Spend the time to discuss your company goals, products, and services in detail with each employee. It may seem like a lot of money and time to dedicate to proper training, but it’s well worth it. It’s actually costing your business more to not train your employees because you’re missing out on opportunities to grow and succeed.

It’s also important to offer encouragement when employees are successful so they continue to perform well. The more praise an employee receives for doing something right, the more valued they feel and the more motivation they have.

#5 I’m great at planning but unforeseen problems get in the way of deadlines

Take a long, hard look in the mirror if you keep telling yourself this. The whole point in planning is to avoid problems and ensure you meet deadlines. Planning doesn’t mean every single thing rolls out the way you want it to, but the overall goal should be achieved in the allotted time frame. To plan things out well, you need to put time into thinking about all the possibilities of things that may happen, and establish actions to be taken during these instances.

Part of being a manager means making difficult decisions and saying “no” to opportunities that pop up in order to keep things on track. There’s always going to be a million things that come up and stall progress. If you keep moving forward with your eyes on the original goal, all those little things that pop up are seen for what they really are- distractions. Don’t let distractions deter you from achieving the goals you set out to conquer.

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