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Best Practices Can Result in Profits when All Employees Agree to Organizational Changes

Best Practices Can Result in Profits when All Employees Agree to Organizational Changes

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Get more information about business degrees at American Public University.

By Dr. Marie Gould Harper
Program Director, Management at American Public University

How do we learn? What is the best way for co-workers to “buy in” to your project? These two questions are the starting point for any organization attempting to make organizational changes and be innovative and progressive.

Everyone Should Be Included in Organizational Changes

While it is important to have an organizational strategy, which is usually crafted by senior management, grassroots workers and middle management should also be included in the process. All three groups can view the same initiative from different perspectives which will benefit the final strategy.

Back in the mid-1990s, I worked for a company committed to ensuring that the entire workforce understood how all functions of the organization operated. That company invested time and money so all employees could have first-hand knowledge about the importance of each department to the success and profitability of the organization.

Everyone participated in playing Jack Stack’s “Great Game of Business.” Teams composed of members from all departments participated in simulations of real business issues.

As a result of these simulations, employees:

  • Gained a better understanding of what departmental units did and how their functions affected other areas of the enterprise.
  • Bought into the process and assisted the company in keeping expenses down while increasing revenue generation.
  • Got excited and motivated because the company bonus program included all workers at every level.

The time, energy and investment spent on this initiative paid off. As employees gained an appreciation for their colleagues and their work, the company began to see a profit. This is an example of how a “best practice” led to organizational gains.

However, this does not always happen. There are instances when a company still can’t make a profit, even if there was a best practices intervention.

Barriers to the Lack of Profits despite a Best Practices Intervention

There are several reasons why a company might not be profitable even after a best practices intervention. First, the company might not have taken into consideration the types of workers it employed. Those workers should be able to fit into a culture that feeds off enthusiasm, innovation and creativity, rather than “just doing their jobs.” Second, the company did not analyze if the best practices aligned with the direction in which the organization intended to go.

At some point, there needs to be a concerted effort by the company to educate all of its employees on why, what and how change is going to be integrated into daily operations.

James O’Brien and Anders Liu-Lindberg refer to this process as “business acumen.” Business acumen is about being business sharp or on top of your game.

You have to be good at many things. For you to be a top dog, each of your employees should have some skill sets that help the company move forward. In his 2015 LinkedIn article “Business Acumen – The Key To Business Success,” O’Brien laid out these components based on his research to develop the Business Acumen Gauge.

The main point that both models share is how crucial it is to have everyone on board with organizational changes in the company. If an organization desires to be successful and profitable, it should consider investing in each employee rather than top management expecting information to trickle down effectively.

It rarely does. However, if all employees have an understanding of the “big picture” and their specific role in it, the sky is the limit.

Ultimately, if you want to see different results, you have to do things differently.

Get more information about business degrees at American Public University.

About the Author

Dr. Marie Gould Harper is the Program Director of Management at American Public University. She holds an undergraduate degree in psychology from Wellesley College, a master’s degree in instructional systems from Pennsylvania State University and a doctorate in business from Capella University. She is a progressive coach, facilitator, writer, strategist and human resources/organizational development professional with more than 30 years of leadership, project management, and administrative experience. Dr. Gould Harper has worked in both corporate and academic environments.

Dr. Gould Harper is an innovative thinker and strong leader, manifesting people skills, a methodical approach to problems, organizational vision and ability to inspire followers. She is committed to continuous improvement in organizational effectiveness and human capital development, customer service and the development of future leaders.

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