Working More Efficiently: Part Three
Identifying Your Weaknesses
Now that you’ve taken a step back and broken down a process that simply isn’t working within your business, you will have to identify specific weaknesses before you can start enacting change. You won’t be able to fix a problem until you know exactly what’s at play and why. That’s why identifying weaknesses is such a valuable tool for revitalizing your company’s practices and processes.
Addressing your own weaknesses may be difficult, as it takes a heightened sense of awareness to point out underlying issues. We’ve outlined some tips below to get you started:
With the help of key employees, rate yourself in every facet of the process you have broken down. To return to our previous example of customer service, grade every step you take from initial customer contact to final follow up. Anything that doesn’t receive top ratings across the board deserves a closer look. Noticeably low scores are likely problem areas that may need a complete overhaul.
It is crucial that you remain as honest and objective as possible when identifying your company’s weaknesses. Remember: this activity is meant to help your business, not hinder it. To get you started, try to view things from the customer’s perspective.
Look at the Bigger Picture
Don’t fall into the trap of listing every error that has been made within your company, no matter how tempting it may be. Instead, look at the bigger picture, assess why those errors are being made, and get to the root of the problem. Leave no stone unturned. For example, instead of listing out every mistake made by members of your customer service department over the past year, ask probing questions that will help set you on the path toward improvement:
Is the overall structure of the department working?
Are job duties laid out in the best way possible?
Are our processes making things difficult?
Why are our customers unhappy?
How can we be more effective?
Accept Negative Feedback
Although negative feedback is less than ideal, it is often a key factor in helping you identify your weaknesses. For example, a customer complaint, while never a good thing, is a great tool for learning and growing. It helps you discern where changes need to be made and why.
While a difficult task at times, identifying your weaknesses is an essential strategy for discovering where changes need to be made within your company.
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