Life in the accounting and finance world is fast, hectic and constantly changing. This is especially true during high demand cyclical periods like tax season and year-end close, when the stakes only get higher, and the stress only gets worse.
Creating an environment that encourages and facilitates performance, productivity and positivity amongst your employees is essential to making sure your business keeps pace. Unfortunately, many businesses stumble. This leads to workplace dysfunction.
Workplace dysfunction can cost your business dearly in terms of employee turnover, reduced productivity and unhappy customers. But how can you tell if your business suffers from productivity dysfunction? Here are some common signs:
LACK OF CLEAR COMMUNICATION
Communication needs to be effective. If managers can’t communicate expectations to their employees, or if they don’t feel understood, productivity and morale will suffer. To ensure effective communication, ask all employees for their direct feedback and address any areas of weakness.
Every person in your office is different, and you can’t expect everyone to get along at all times. That’s okay, so long as employees treat each other with respect and professionalism. But if people are openly and aggressively at odds, the chances of the friction affecting workplace performance rises significantly. If you notice friction amongst two or more employees, be direct. Ask them to share their thoughts on the situation and how it can be resolved.
Do your executives have access to premium coffee while your administrative employees have to bring their own cup of Joe to work? Do the people in your mail room have to pay for soda while beverages are available for free on other floors? Treating different sections of your workforce differently can alienate your employees and lead to resentment and hostility. Make sure everyone feels equally important.
Disorganization refers to a lack of defined processes. A fuzzy hierarchy and chaotic physical space can also contribute to organizational disorganization. These are easy to identify but difficult to overcome. Work with your leaders to develop and implement proven processes and methodologies – and then communicate these changes to your employees. Clearly define roles. responsibilities and a reporting structure throughout all teams and departments to avoid bottlenecks and encourage efficiency. Lastly, engineer your office space to promote conversation, teamwork and concentration.
It may seem simple, but developing and executing a standard set of rules that applies to everyone, regardless of seniority, position or salary, is where many organizations err. Everyone in your company should be subject to the same standards. as well as the same disciplinary action. Don’t let a manager routinely come to work late without any repercussions while that manager’s subordinates are docked pay for coming in a few minutes after lunch break. Consistency is critical in overcoming dysfunction.
THE WRONG PEOPLE IN THE WRONG ROLES
At the core of a functional and high performing business is a functional and high-performing workforce. When your employees have the skills, experience and attitude necessary to fulfill their roles, your entire company benefits as a result.