Bottlenecks cause huge problems in any business. Finding a way to release the flow reduces pressure and stress at all levels of the organization. The problem occurs when one person, or group hold up processes, projects, or even decisions that have a rippling effect down the organization ladder. Here are some of my suggestions to removing bottlenecks and streamlining your business.
Know Who To Really Go To
The problem with most meetings of manager is just that meeting of managers. There is almost no representative of employees on the front lines that directly talk to customers and clients. The people that have most communication with the clients have the least input on streamlining the process, which when you think about it is backwards. The people in the trenches that go in day in and day out, they know what the customer complaints are, they know what’s hold up production, they have better rapport with customers than some manager believe.
Identify The Bottlenecks
Have a company wide meeting that has one agenda. Ask employees, managers, etc to all put input on what they see is holding up process, sales, etc. Where are the bottlenecks they see? Some employees might state some profound realization on what they feel is going on and their frustrations. Everyone can give insight to what can be better and what is wrong. One thing you have to do is make sure it doesn’t turn into a pointing fingers situation. Explain to group that everyone will have a turn to put their input and state problems they see, and how it can be fixed. Remind everyone that everyone in the company is in it together. What someone does on one end affects the outcome on the other.
Remove The Bottlenecks
If a process or method is not working, completely remove it and design it from the ground up by having employees and managers work together to find an efficient way. With many brains working together others can see problems that can occur or input solutions that can save headaches down the road. Create a process and test it out for a week or month and come back as a group and find out what were the results and did it improve productivity as a whole. Make sure that everyone is allowed to have an input if they have one, this important!
Employees need to understand what they are saying is not falling on deaf ears, so giving them the same power of level of respect as managers and executives will help get better response from them.
One of these company wide meetings may not be enough. I suggest having a meeting once a week or at least once a month to discuss productivity and allow everyone to he heard creates an environment that is constantly moving towards more efficiency.