“Due Diligence,” what does it mean to you?
dil-i-gence (diləjəns) - 1. careful and persistent work or effort.
All small business owners can agree that sometimes running their enterprise is just downright difficult. Managing the multitude of variables from payroll to employee morale to procurement to distribution to oversight is more than enough to keep an individual up at night. This is the life of the entrepreneur. For this reason it is crucial to have people on your staff adept at the responsibilities you've delegated to them. If, as the business owner, you are the only person that can properly achieve a successful resolution of these tasks, it may be time for you to stress the importance of operational diligence to your staff. You shouldn't have to, of course. Any employee worth his or her salt doesn't need to be told that the result of each project requires a careful and thorough approach.
As the boss, you will have to understand what each one of your employees does well and how to leverage those skills into higher degrees of productivity. One way that business owners can improve their knowledge about how their subordinates handle roles in a project is by auditing projects after they've been completed. This allows an organization to measure the positive and negative aspects of each employees role in the completion of a project. Acquiring this information is beneficial in multiple ways, none more so than it gives administrators an idea of which employees thrive in the role to which they've been assigned, and which ones need some work to get to the place where they can maximize their value to your organization. Many of a company's top workers, when trained and established, can present considerable value to the company in their time at work.
Excel with Responsibility: Stress the Importance of Leadership
When an employee makes a mistake that lingers and results in a negative outcome of a project, you can't help but wonder if that employee understood the importance of their role in the project. Every project has instances in which a small mistake in one seemingly unimportant task could limit the effectiveness of that project. As a business owner, this process starts with you. It is important that you lead by example. You can tell people what to do until you are blue in the face, but unless you consider your actions as the model, your subordinates will likely see through these tyrannical orders and think it's okay to lapse on the directions given.
For this reason, optimistic leadership is one the most important variables of running point on any project. Hell, it may be the most important aspect of any project period. People who do the best work are the ones in the best state of mind. If you instill in your staff the importance of leadership, and give them the ability to lead (even if it's in the execution of the smallest task), you'll find that employee will have more invested in the correct and timely completion of the task assigned, the completion of the project as a whole, and the support of that project. An employee in a leadership role, whether that be making someone project manager or simply just having people work on a task they are proficient and confident with, can empower the entire team to produce exemplary results. By assigning employees that you believe are competent to complete your company's contracted projects, it will let you breathe a little easier and may even allow you a few hours of shut eye at night.
Diligent Roles that are Necessary for Your Small Business
How you things get done is almost as important as getting them done for a small business. Since payroll likely takes up a large chunk of your operations budget, you need for your employees to work efficiently and often handle variables in which they may not be absolutely proficient. This is the reality for most small businesses, but it doesn't have to interfere with your efficiency. If everyone in your organization cares about what they are doing and takes pride in the tasks they've been assigned, then there is every opportunity for there to be a successful resolution.
How do you convey this point? By understanding value. Every employee has to know what their role is. In an effort to accomplish this, many business owners will stress the importance of efficiency and productivity in monetary terms, but the basic components of a successful result to any project are mostly due to the ability of the people that are working on that project to understand their role, and excel at task they are given. Assigning project managers will make this process far less difficult as it gives one individual the ability to manage all parts of a project.
Once you schedule the team, the formalities with the client have been exchanged, and the work order filed, each worker will go to task on the work they have been assigned. This is where your team needs to understand what it takes to take your offering to the next level. Sure, they have documented resources that outline the job duties that they've been assigned, but how far is that going to take them? Due diligence is the difference between a job that's finished and one that is well done.
Consider that most successful organizations experience success much more than they experience failure. This is from becoming personally invested in the outcome of every project. For this reason, members of your team have to take on a certain degree of personal responsibility to complete the tasks they've been assigned to successful completion. To formally take on your competition and to make your service as profitable as it can be, you should expect every member of your team to go above and beyond.
What is "Above and Beyond"?
When we speak of diligence, this is what we are referring to: going above and beyond is rooted in the same place that has produced the age-old capitalist adage, "the customer is always right". In essence, it's the act of ensuring customer satisfaction by overwhelming them with expertise and interaction. If you consider the makeup of a return customer, you can see that many practices that result in decades-long partnerships have to do with the way that customer views their relationship with the company. Most business to business relationships are forged and sustained by organizations that want to do well for the other, and routinely deliver on that intention.
Going above and beyond to ensure the recipient of a project is ecstatic is a surefire way to make your company successful. People want to work with people that care, and every time your employees put the kind of effort into a project that impresses the client, the end result will rarely be disappointing. Remember, for any successful company, the result of the majority of their transactions is positive.
For any small business to grow, there needs to be a company wide commitment to excellence. Understanding which protocols work best and the ones that don't work are essential components to a successful business.