Blog Article by Ray Attiyah, Chief Innovation Officer
My last post discussed how a lack of confidence can creep into an organization. It poses as an overabundance of oversight, checks and balances or controls. While review is vital, it can become counterproductive if it steals from your front-line workers their ability to independently solve problems, try improvements and own their success.
Confidence may be the most important improvement you can bring to your organization. It is the foundation of every sustainable continuous improvement initiative, and it is essential to leadership development. The following five solutions are proven ways to spark confidence.
- Communicate external objectives – Workers become much more confident and engaged when they understand the connection between their task and adding value for the customer.
- Try-storm – Try-storming is a word we use for quickly giving an improvement idea a test drive. When a worker has an idea and a supervisor not only listens, but is willing to try it, even as a temporary experiment, the worker feels valued and becomes more confident.
- Reward top performers – It is common to find yourself spending too much time fighting fires with new or under-performing workers. When we ignore our top performers, they disengage and lose confidence in their ability to make a difference. Make time for your best people and keep them challenged.
- Find quick win projects – Quick wins are the surest way to prove to non-believers that improvement can happen. When your workers see change, they are more likely to want to be part of it.
- Update management systems – Make changes that reflect the progress made by front-line individuals and teams. Re-balance work and responsibilities and set new goals.
When workers are motivated to contribute to improvements, supervisors gain confidence in their front line. With confidence in the daily run, comes time to focus on big picture improvements and growth. It’s a winning strategy with long-tail benefits that are felt all the way to the top of the organization.
Executives often tell me this kind of confidence reduced stress, gave them time to focus on transformational changes that grew the business and allowed them to leave work at work, improving family life. It’s a win for everyone.