Hierarchy kills productivity

Hierarchy is an old legacy of business structure, yet it is still prevalent in many industries. This way of working creates barriers and builds walls, which in turn prevents productivity and leadership. Mobile technology plays a vital role in breaking down the social order, bringing senior members closer to more junior members and closing the gap between different departments of the organisation which can be difficult for large businesses. Mobile technology helps departments work more fluidly together and changes the way that employees engage and communicate. So how does it do this?

Individual thinking

For as long as we can remember the role of the manager has been to control. However, this way of working is outdated and reduces productivity in staff because they cannot work autonomously. Their mind is trained to wait for the direction of others, meaning that they do little thinking outside of the box because when they do it is deemed ‘incorrect.’ This results in mindless working with little thought being put into staff’s actions and operations. When a decision needs to be made or if they don’t know the answer to something they ask their manager who usually resolves the query for them. Meaning that they are not learning to full capacity until they are promoted to the role of manager.

So how can you change this whilst still maintaining best practice and optimal business operations? Mobile technology allows you to provide searchable guides,  articles, and videos. This means that staff are given the power to think for themselves. A simple example would be that no one in your shop knows how to update the digital POS apart from the store manager. With quick searchable articles or videos available on employee’s own smart devices. This means that everyone on the premises has access to how this can be done, they can find it in a matter of seconds.

Once you give staff the power to work independently you allow them to engage fully with their work and not have to wait for the answers of others. They are given responsibility to learn and carry out operations which subsequently leads to increased productivity because more things can get done.

Employee empowerment

By handing this responsibility to employees and enabling them to think independently you empower them to become more accountable and responsible in their role, this leads to increased engagement. Employee empowerment is a phrase used to explain how staff can make their own decisions without having to keep consulting with superiors. With increased responsibility employees feel more appreciated, and will work for the benefit of your organisation. When you give them the option to make decisions and carry out more operations they feel they are a bigger part of the company and will work to prove that the trust you place with them is justified, all the while improving their work performance.

Working for a purpose

In a hierarchical environment, everyone works in silos because they cannot see how their performance affects the overall success of the company. When they can’t see that the efforts of their work have any impact on the business it depletes their motivation and ultimately kills productivity. In their mind, it doesn’t matter if they work fast, slow, harder or smarter because the end result is always the same.

In order to fix this, you need to ensure that all employees are aware of your company’s mission and purpose and how they fit within the business to achieve this. However, this is easier said than done. How do you embed this information throughout the business and how do you continually reinforce it?

Mobile technology can help you easily communicate this to employees every single day.

  • A live news feed on an employee’s smart device means that staff can easily be alerted of new company updates, successes and results. This means you can easily communicate how their hard work is contributing to the company’s overall success.
  • You can be more transparent and make business reports and reviews more accessible, this means staff can see for themselves how the company is performing.
  • Short multiple-choice questions sent daily to employee devices means that staff can be quizzed on the company’s mission and purpose, this ensures that they not only know them but they understand them too.
  • Notifications mean you could alert employees in certain stores if their store or area is outperforming others and motivate them to keep up the good work.

When you deploy mobile technology, it allows you to hand over control and responsibility whilst still ensuring that there are frameworks and structure to your business. This means you don’t have to worry about your processes going off track, and employees have the power to carry out more tasks on their own.

Written by Hayley Lloyd

Published 14th August 2017