When we talk about flexibility in the workplace, we’re not suggesting you incorporate some Bikram Yoga into your morning meetings (although any excuse to wear yoga pants to work is probably worth consideration). No, we’re referring to a business’ ability to adapt to changes and transform itself.
Having a flexible approach to the way you run your small business has huge benefits which leads to more favourable outcomes for your business. But being flexible doesn’t mean you have to bend over backwards for people. It’s just a matter of being fluid in your structure. Here’s some reasons why we believe flexibility is key for small businesses, and how you can implement these changes to maximise your success.
Not only do we live in a highly competitive world, but it’s fast-moving, too. Change is inevitable, and the only thing that will keep your small business ahead of the wave is flexibility. A flexible organisation responds to change by identifying ways to incorporate new applications into old processes. It also learns to use these changes to maximise competitiveness. Being too rigid in your operations will see you fall behind the eight ball. Especially in an evolving market that rewards innovation. So if you want to be competitive with your opposition, do some warm-up stretches and get ready to bend the parameters in which you run your small business.
Making changes to your small business doesn’t necessarily mean anything is wrong with the old way. It just means there might be a better way to get ahead. A flexible company is willing to try new approaches and is continuously refining its policies and procedures. Over time it becomes more efficient, meaning higher profits and lower costs. Here’s a good analogy: take a look at the high performance cars and motorbikes in motorsports; they are constantly making adjustments to the engine and the vehicle – even during the race – depending on weather, tyres, or how it is performing against its competition. Having a flexible outlook means they increase their chances of winning. If you want your small business to be competitive, be flexible to tweak it when necessary in order to increase efficiency.
By treating your employees like human beings instead of robots, you are sending a very clear message that you value their place in your business. An employee who feels valued is far more likely to work harder and perform better. Flexibility gives them more options allows them to take a more balanced approach to their work and personal life. To create a flexible environment, managers must be able to adapt to employee needs. Whether it’s in relation to taking leave or roles and responsibilities – it’s important to demonstrate a willingness to compromise.
This is because it’s as equally important as it is to have clear boundaries, expectations, and communication. Accommodating to your employee’s needs fosters loyalty and gives you the opportunity to attract and retain key talent. Being flexible in your scheduling is mutually beneficial; it gives employees more freedom, and increases productivity within your small business.
A small business with a flexible management structure is a business that knows how to capitalize on the strengths of its workforce. Trying to shove square pegs into round holes, forces employees into roles for which they are not well-suited. This is obviously counter-productive if you’re serious about running your small business competitively and efficiently. Use the different skills of each employee to your advantage by merging them together so they complement each other. Building a team that is stronger, more effective, and flexible enough to overcome new challenges as they arise.
Adopting a more flexible approach in the workplace means your business can move with the market and adjust its internal structures to suit. If your business is too rigid it may as well be a corpse. Dead.
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