Teaching an Old Company New Tricks

September 23, 2014

 New_Tricks

Just like we do, companies age. It can be easy to remain stuck in the same ways, resting on your laurels and forgetting to hit refresh every once in a while. It seems common sense that companies age too, but we’re actually seeing more companies at a more mature stage than previously. 

“The share of firms aged 16 years or more was 23% in 1992, but leaped to 34% by 2011--an increase of 50% in two decades. The share of private-sector workers employed in these mature firms increased from 60% to 72% during the same period. Perhaps most startling, we find that employment and firm shares declined for every other firm age group during this period.” - Robert Litan, Senior Fellow Economic Studies Program at Brookings

Just because once upon a time something worked, does not mean that will always be true. Everything from processes, tech and the company vision (or lack thereof) has to be kept up to date in order to stay relevant and competitive. Businesses age quickly – is it time to have a little work done?

Antiquated Technology Can Hold You Back

We are in the middle of an HR technologies boom. Those organizations that have embraced these new tools have positioned themselves at a serious competitive advantage. Consider just one of these new technologies –the ATS. A good applicant tracking system can automatically post job listings across all of your social networks, job boards and the company website. It can also parse resume and application information, grade applicants, automate approvals, send canned email responses and so much more from the cloud, securely.

Just this one piece of technology can transform an antiquated, cumbersome process. Automation and efficiency is the aim of all of these new tools like talent alignment platforms, paperless onboarding, performance management software and any cloud-based platform.

Poor Processes Can Kill Productivity

“That’s how we do it”, is no excuse for the continuation of poor processes. The best way to identify and fix such processes is to solicit employee feedback. These are the people who have to work with these processes on a daily basis, thus they are more likely to see the flaws and the opportunities for improvement. Beyond time, as an organization grows, processes must change in order to remain effective.

“As an organization evolves, its original master plan grows obsolete. Processes that made sense with only 10 or 20 employees become complex, inefficient, and time-consuming, as the company increases to 500 or 1,000 employees.” - Harvard Business Review

One of the most ineffective and archaic processes that we run into quite often is the traditional performance review. If a process hasn’t changed in decade, please consider that it might not be as effective as you think. 

Stagnation is an Innovation Killer

When an organization gets stuck in a rut, innovation usually takes a nose-dive. Any business should be evolving, and innovation is what fuels that evolution. There should always be an expectation for what’s next.

“Business must look ahead, not behind. It's not just the big companies that need to do this. Every business must innovate to compete. They must create new products and services for new markets. They must be creative, and come up with new ideas that never would have been thought of before. This is the new management paradigm. Get used to it, it's not going away anytime soon." - Scott MacFarland, Digital Marketer and Brand Strategist

Some companies are going so far as to implement innovation management to ensure that they stay relevant and competitive. The innovation manager might be tasked with planning new products, services, brand extensions and new ways to compete. They also work with HR and recruiting to ensure that innovative talent is being targeted and thoughtfully won over by the brand.

It is easy to get sucked into the day-to-day of business, and forget to look around every once in a while. Keeping a business running is only half of the battle; staying relevant is the other. A bright shiny new idea, service or vision can quickly get dull.

Does your company need to learn some new tricks? Let’s revisit your vision today, and get started with the tools to help get you there.

HR-Tech-Conference-Guide

 

photo credit: WasabiDoobie via photopin cc

Applicant Tracking, Performance Review, Paperless Onboarding

Afton Funk
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