The era of rigid policies and procedures is long gone. It is now about self-drive, understanding the people you have on your team, creating clarity of the vision and expectations to win. Once this clarity is well cascaded to the entire team, it becomes the leader’s role to challenge the team on how to deliver. What do you bring to the table and how do you deliver the outcome?
Traditionally, companies relied on policies and procedures because the environment required that setting. The workers on a factory floor, for example, for one to deliver value, must be physically present at the production line. If it is a manufacturing plant, the machines have been operated by staff. They must be physically present for work to move on. To perform, someone must first physically report to work and on time.
Enter the new era
Today, a lot of work can be done remotely. In that case, there is no need to force staff to be physically present.
Such decisions must be taken scientifically. As a leader, you need to understand the mission-critical processes and the people involved in running them. To effect staff rationalization and optimization, begin with the basics; what is the purpose of the organization, and what has to be achieved by when. Analyse the processes that deliver that value, and the kind of people needed. Do you need a physically present person or remote working staff? Once this is clear, you can decide which of your people can work remotely, and give them that option. The business must use data the know the productivity of staff when physically present or remotely working.
The biggest challenge with many organizations and leaders is coming up with decisions when they have not done a proper analysis of the business imperatives. They do not understand the key business processes, and the people needed to deliver the output, and whether these people can work remotely or physically. If you have set up a strong infrastructure for troubleshooting, and you can allow a secure remote connection, why should a staff come to the office? In many Head office settings, over 65% of the staff do not necessarily need to physically come to the office.
Analyse the critical processes, the value they deliver, the interdependencies to mission success and the staff that supports them. Which of those staff must be present physically at the office? For the rest of the staff, give them incentives (that are lower than the savings you make) to work remotely.
Once this is done, there is no need to debate whether people should or not come to the office. The incentives will automatically cause staff to do the right thing.
Do you need transformation experts on your next journey of process transformation, contact Summit Consulting Ltd.
Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, Mr Strategy 2021. All rights reserved.