By the Hapkey team

3 Ways You Can Foster an Environment of Continuous Improvement

Post by
Elia Mihuta
3 Ways You Can Foster an Environment of Continuous Improvement
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Too many leaders take the easy road. They copy-paste management approaches from other companies in their context. Just because these methods worked for others doesn't mean they will work for you. And as a result, they don't see impact. 

Why?

Because every organization is unique. Just like their leaders, each company is different from the next. And it's normal because people, unique individuals, are the ones that form organizations. 

The key to improving, whether that's employee happiness, or growing the business, is about taking small steps and making constant adjustments based on the feedback you receive from your employees or the market. 

Therefore, we encourage not spending great amounts of resources all at once on big strategies that could disappoint. It's far more effective to work gradually and make daily, small, yet, effective changes. Doing so can help you learn from your successes but also mistakes, can save you time, money, and keep you away from frustrating situations. 

And that is exactly the philosophy behind the famous Japanese approach, known as the Kaizen Strategy. It's all about incremental improvements that occur continuously, thanks to active adjustments. 

Simply put, for the company engine to run, at the end of each working day, at least one slight improvement needs to happen. And it doesn't matter if it's an employee's success or a team's one. 

Darren Hardy is the author of a book called "The Compound Effect," published more than ten years ago. In his book, he talks about the exact same thing - getting huge rewards after small, almost insignificant, yet constant actions. He goes even further and compares this growth approach to the butterfly effect, meaning that any neglectable change that occurs, such as the gentle flap of a butterfly's wings, can have a considerable impact on a larger scale. Therefore this technique is not new but one known to be effective regardless of the organization's size. 

Now, we know that all this sounds easy in theory, but creating an environment of continuous improvement within the organization is not a one-person job. No. It can't be done just by the company leaders. Even so, the leaders have a very significant task as they are the ones who need to pave the road for their employees to become actively engaged in this approach. 

But what exactly should you do as a leader? Well, in our opinion, there are three important paths that you should take to encourage a culture of constant improvement:

  1. Inspire, empower, and inspire again. So what does this mean? It means that leaders should encourage their peers, empowering them to address issues and pitch ideas on how to solve them. Because who knows: a sudden idea might lead to significant improvements.
  2. Create an environment of transparency, continuous communication, and constant learning. Coaching and training sessions can cultivate new behaviors, skills, or analytical thinking. And these are exactly the traits you want your employees to have or develop.
  3. Make employees feel valued. As redundant as this may sound, studies show that more than 63 percent of employees feel unappreciated at work. 

In order to improve, each organization needs to have patience and take small but determined steps each day. More so, leaders should understand that there is no such thing as organizational advancement without the real engagement of their employees. And there is no employee engagement without communication, respect, and empowerment. 

Thus, the final pieces of advice we can give you today are very simple to apply. Get in touch with each individual and ask them how they are doing. Furthermore, encourage them to become better and help them excel. Last but not least, don't let them feel like a brick in the wall but inspire them to become builders who put brick on brick and build something magnificent together.

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