For business owners, simplicity is key. We strive to create products that are easy to use, straightforward services, websites that are easy to navigate, and so on. So, why do we riddle everything else in our daily lives with complexity? One might say, we’re used to it. But, overcomplication at the workplace may be costing you.
When employees don’t understand their role within an organization, it can cause unnecessary confusion, run up the payroll and create friction between employees and leadership.
So, while the workforce world is complicated, we recognize that many workers value when tasks are straightforward. People like to know what’s expected of them. A recent study says that 95% of employees are more likely to trust their company’s leadership when things are kept simple.
Think about it. When you don’t truly understand what you’re supposed to be doing, it creates frustration and self-doubt. When you’re not confident of performing the task at hand, you start to blame the leader for not providing clear and concise instructions. So, make simplicity a bridge that cultivates a culture of trust, transparency of expectations, and clear expectations.
Complexity does not breed invention. We see this shine true in a study by Siegel + Gale; we find that 2% of employees at complex workplaces find innovation at work easy, compared to the 54% of people at a simple workplace. When employees do not have to guess (or go on a wild goose chase for) their expectations or task instructions, their minds are free to spark innovation.
When things are kept simple at work, it fosters a more positive atmosphere. Employees want to be there, and when a position opens up, they’ll fight for their referrals to jump on board. In fact, 65% are more likely to refer someone to work at their simple workplace. This means your hiring managers spend less time recruiting and can devote less time to finding good candidates. As a result, they’ll have an easier time filling vacancies.
Additionally, workplace simplicity boosts employee loyalty. Nearly 84% of employees will stick around longer in a straightforward working environment than 75% for a more complex workplace.
Leaders must take action to create a simple workplace. But, first, they must evaluate every element, including the company’s purpose, values, and expectations of each role. It’s a good idea to determine organizational processes, set goals, and understand how your leadership team will measure those goals.
You might ask yourself, “what is the minimum number of steps it’ll take for someone to achieve the given goal.” Once you know the answer, start from zero to reduce the task to the least amount of steps possible.
Small to large businesses need to adopt simpler communication processes that include plain language.
When you’re talking numbers or creating a pitch, resist the temptation to add in extra bells and whistles. The extras will distract you and your audience. That’s why when you’re presenting, skip the fancy presentation by using fewer – fewer slides, fewer numbers, and fewer transitions.
Consider creating surveys or questionnaires – or just listening actively and consistently – to identify pain points for employees. Ask questions that will determine where exactly complications and barriers may lie. As a bonus, this extra work will help leaders understand where potential obstacles may be hindering productivity.
Take time to cut out unnecessary complexities to boost employee sentiments and an overall better working environment. You’ll soon see better employee productivity, innovation, and feedback. And above all else, happier and well-adjusted employees.