In my role as founder and CEO of The Happiness Index I speak to lots of different businesses on a regular basis. Due to the nature of our work I get the opportunity to look ‘under the bonnet’. It never fails to amaze me that regardless of size or sector there is a recurring theme being discussed in every boardroom … How do we find a modern way of working that works for us?
Over the past year I’ve been listening to and observing different companies and those that are highly performing all share the same 5 traits:
1 Abandon the hierarchical structure
The majority of businesses I speak to operate a hierarchical structure. It’s tried and tested, but is it relevant to today’s modern world? The primary reason this model has existed for so long is it establishes control. However, we now know controlling people isn’t going to get the best out them. Hierarchies constrain creative thinking and initiative.
2 Encourage collaboration
Over the past 12 months the highest performing companies I’ve seen all share a desire to be more collaborative. They’re creating networks of collaborative departments which interact with each other. It breeds creativity and encourages agility. No longer do they need to go through a hierarchical structure to get a decision made. Instead, they use their initiative and work with the departments they need to in order to achieve their goals.
3 Understand in the moment
Without a hierarchy to maintain control, these businesses are using ‘targeted enquiry’. This allows them to ask their people what they want, when they want. This coupled with Always On feedback allows them to understand what is happening in the moment.
4 Take immediate action
Understanding what is happening in the moment is one thing, doing something about it is another. Issues need to be resolved as they arise. Either not knowing about issues or worse ignoring issues until they get reflected in the P&L is too late.
5 Understand your people pipeline
Companies need to understand what is happening in their ‘people pipeline’. Commercial directors use their sales pipeline to forecast performance and today’s highly effective companies are able to forecast their people performance too. They know when issues are going to impact performance and make interventions to prevent them from happening.
For businesses looking to become employers-of-the-future that attract and retain the best talent, have a great culture and perform well – then adopting the above strategies is a great place to start!
To learn more about this please feel free to email me on firstname.lastname@example.org