Are you employing the best working practices for your business?

We’re always seeing new approaches to working and right now that’s collective leadership and radical candour. But just because they’re popular, that doesn’t mean every company should adopt them. It’s about considering the needs of your specific organisation and only implementing working practices that will improve staff wellbeing, engagement and boost productivity.

Square pegs and round holes
Some people might think that new workplace practices such as ‘no official office hours’ or remote working will deliver greater value, but it’s important to look at how employees actually work before diving head first in to initiatives like these. In many cases, implementing the wrong workplace practice can actually demotivate staff and damage business operations.

Let’s say a company implements a flat working structure in a business where staff respond better to a clear hierarchy – the team probably won’t appreciate the change, and may perhaps struggle to raise concerns without a line manager in place. Others may feel their career progression is limited if job titles no longer reflect seniority.

Cherry picking
That doesn’t mean to say that shying away from adopting new workplace practices is the answer! Some of these innovative approaches can really help to increase efficiency and improve the business. It’s just about treading carefully to test the waters. Ask the team what they like about their current ways of working and what they’re keen to change. Pose questions about the new practices and gauge the gut reactions. If the idea seems to float, test out any new working practices before making them permanent. This way, HR will be able to assess its effectiveness – as well as its impact on daily operations – before rolling it out to the entire company or as a permanent fixture. After all, just because a workplace practice may be popular, that doesn’t mean it’s the right fit for your business.

Key takeaways
Don’t try and overhaul your organisation for the sake of it – there are too many new fads and you’ll always be chasing the next big thing.

But, be careful not to wander around with blinkers on or you risk ignoring innovative ways to improve the business.

Take the time to research whether new ways of working can help to keep staff productive and motivated. Figure out which working practices staff really want and value; that will make it easier to decide which initiatives will improve the business without putting employee engagement at risk.

The aim is to create brilliant places to work. This means, driving employee engagement, encouraging hands-on management alongside ongoing feedback and providing a positive work environment where employees feel they have the opportunity to grow and trust in leadership.

If you’re wondering what the next step is for your organisation or are toying with the idea of a new working practice, an employee engagement survey may be the answer for you. We have created one that will accurately assess staff satisfaction to help identify what schemes or interventions HR and managers may want to consider for their workforce. Businesses should be looking to run surveys like this once a year at the very least. The more frequently they are done, the more insight a team will have and the better your chances are of hitting the mark. Just remember not to make snap decisions or to ‘pull’ new innovations just because there hasn’t been an immediate impact. Changing people’s behaviour takes time but it is worth it. Give us a call and we can coach you through it all.