Consistency in the workplace
Hallelujah, the weekend has rolled up again and this time it is a long weekend because it is Democracy Day on Monday. Today, we will be talking about consistency in an organisation and the role of HRM to ensure this happens.
In a hectic workplace, creating an environment of consistency of policies, procedures and practices can present a challenge but has numerous benefits. This is a mark of a world-class organisation. There are many reasons why consistency is a goal toward which we should work. Tremendous importance should be attached to determining how much effort you want to dedicate to establishing this principle within your business space. HRM should be part of the drivers.
To begin with, Consistency allows for measurement and remember what has not been measured cannot be managed. Until you have tried something new for a period and in a consistent manner, you cannot decide it’s efficacy or whether it works. How do you measure effectiveness if what you are measuring isn’t performed consistently?
Typically give new initiatives, processes, and organisational structures at least six months before judging them a success or failure. It’s often minor changes instead of major overhauls that make the difference. Keeping up with constantly changing policies and procedures can be mentally taxing. If you create a consistent plan for your workplace and deviate from that plan very little, you make it easier for your employees to understand the duties associated with their jobs as well as your expectations for them.
Workplaces in which consistency is present appear better organized than those in which things are constantly changing. For example, if you have one consistent method for your employees to use to fill out their appraisal forms, log their work completion or request time off, it will appear to them that you are more in control of the business. This appearance of organization makes employees think better of the company and allow them to feel that it is a more stable one.
Consistency creates accountability. Consistency will become part of the culture of the organisation and the employees also will become consistent. They will be accountable for their deliverables and goals. They will expect and get the same from the leadership and company. Leadership should prioritise making time for and being available to their teams. The simple fact that there is a set time to report on progress is often the catalyst that moves an initiative along to a successful end.
Although some individuals don’t mind constant changes, most people prefer consistency. When your practices and procedures are consistent, your workplace will likely seem less chaotic and more under control. By creating an environment that is consistent, you can help both your workers and your customers feel comfortable in the workplace. When people are comfortable there is greater concentration, commitment, and focus therefore, greater results.
Business growth requires a track record of success. You can’t establish a track record if you are constantly shifting and trying new tactics. Many efforts fail before they get to the finish line, but not because the tactic was flawed, or goals weren’t clear. The problem is often that the team simply didn’t stay the course to achieve the objective. Consistency establishes the reputation of the organisation.
By making things consistent, you can allow employees to dedicate more of their time to the completion of their actual job duties, likely leading to an increase in productivity. Even new staff learn the ropes quickly because things are consistent and standardize. Rather than because things are constantly changing, making the staff spend good time learning new policies and procedures. On this level alone there is more productivity but indeed every point in favour of consistency leads to more productivity.
Employees and customers need a predictable flow of information from management. Even our marketing and brand management must be consistent so we do not over promise on something we will definitely under deliver on.
Consistency comes with leading by example. This is an important area for HRM. HRM needs to lead by example. Staff pay as much or more attention to what you do as to what you say. Consistency in leadership serves as a model for how they will behave. If you treat a meeting as unimportant, don’t be surprised when you find they are doing the same to fellow teammates or even customers.
Finally, besides staff being uncomfortable and learning time truncating progress, this also just confuses things such that the company can ground to a complete halt. Consistency is the other side of the coin to confusion. HRM must be in the forefront of this aspect of culture. Next week, we will be looking at how HRM helps to with culture building.
Have a great extended weekend.