Developing A Culture of Continuous Improvement
Today’s leading companies have a healthy growth strategy that puts great emphasis on continuous improvement. Asking, “What do our customers really want?” actively works to identify opportunities for streamlining processes and maximising productivity, developing better run organisations that devote maximum time to core business activities.
Increased productivity is one of the greatest benefits of a culture of continuous improvement. Take cleaning, for example. From once employing an individual handy with a broom and a mop to employing a skilled floor sweeper or scrubbing machine operator represents a huge leap forward. And the benefits include time and cost efficiencies, and consistent safety and cleanliness standards.
Today’s savvy businesses owners see real value in seeking an expert opinion on the most effective way to meet their cleaning requirements, such as a thorough site evaluation to identify the solution with the greatest benefits. It also sends a clear message that here is a company willing to consider ways to adapt and grow.
But adopting a policy of continuous improvement will almost certainly mean change. And that can be scary. Fear can hold a business back from making even the smallest of improvements – ironically, often something which may ultimately have the greatest impact. Driven by, “But we’ve always done it this way”, some business owners may find it change almost impossible.
To avoid never changing at all and ensure you’re supported in creating an environment of continuous improvement, it’s possible to effectively manage your team through change in four key ways:
- Planning for change: Consider the outcomes you want, then set team goals to achieve the change you want to see.
- Communicating change: A confident leader explains the process clearly, involving supervisors and managers to ensure consistency of message.
- Engaging employees: When staff understand your reasoning, they’ll respond more positively, so engagement is key. Remember that some may feel a sense of loss – of familiar processes or duties, for example. Allow time to discuss their concerns if their confidence is affected.
- Retaining key employees: the change process may mean the loss of some staff. Consider tailored incentives that match the goals and needs of employees you’re keen to keep.
At Conquest, we see continuous improvement as a core value. A willingness to identify ways to improve has resulted in our opening new facilities, increased opportunities for staff, and the launch of new initiatives.
For example, our Onboarding Program provides post-sale support for customers who’ve purchased a new Conquest power sweeper or floor scrubbing machine. Continuous improvement also led to the implementation of the four key promises which make up Conquest 360.
Michael Mathews, Conquest’s Managing Director, believes a culture of continuous improvement is imperative for any business wanting to be the best it can. He sums it up by saying, “In an age where everything is developing so fast, if as a company we’re not continually striving to improve and offering more efficient solutions to our customers, we will inevitably be left behind.”