Fundamental to the success of every business is the efficient delivery of your products and services to your customers. To create successful delivery, you need to focus on reducing the bottlenecks within your business that block activity and slow down your execution.
Bottlenecks Reduce Effectiveness
Bottlenecks are the small number of people, practices or attitudes that limit an entire system and are often the reason why things stop progressing in your business. Interestingly, bottlenecks are also a big driver for employee dissatisfaction.
Verne Harnish in his excellent business growth book Scaling Up, recommends a daily 15-minute meeting or ‘team huddle’ as a great way to identify bottlenecks. The daily huddle promotes transparency about any potential problems and empowers the team to deal with issues collaboratively and efficiently.
The daily habit of being one step ahead, identifying potential bottlenecks before they arise, creates a proactive culture and means you and your teams are prepared to respond quickly and strategically in a crisis situation.
It’s important to remember that in growth businesses, it is an essential job of front line staff to be ‘on the alert’ for any bottlenecks and to be empowered to immediately work to problem-solve and create flow.
Reducing Bottlenecks Increases Employee Satisfaction
Hungarian Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi coined the term ‘flow’ to describe a state of feeling pleasure or happiness when you are productive. In his Ted talk he explains how ‘flow’ is the secret to happiness. His fascinating study is quite intuitive and gives you even more reason to work to reduce your bottlenecks – it will increase the happiness of your employees!
Benefits of Achieving Flow
Here are the eight employee benefits to achieving ‘flow’ in your business.
- Complete concentration on the task
- Clarity of goals, reward in mind and immediate feedback
- Transformation of time (speeding up/slowing down of time)
- Job satisfaction – intrinsically rewarding
- Effortlessness and ease
- Balance between challenge and skill
- Actions and awareness merged
- Feeling of control over the task
Create Change This Week
What would your life be like if your business operations experienced better flow? How much time would this free up for you to focus on managing your business? As an experienced business consultant, I cannot stress enough the importance of implementing a regular work habit of daily team huddle.
Senior Gazelles Business Consultant Leigh Paulden explains the concept in more detail in his excellent article “How a Communication Rhythm Can Solve Problems In Your Business”. Have a read and think about how you can implement this in your business.
A focus on reducing bottlenecks and increasing flow in your business operations will increase employee happiness as well as create a path for growth and profitability.