Dear Aunty B,
We have just employed our 20th staff member and although things should be running smoothly, we seem to be drowning in chaos. I always seem to be filling in paperwork signing off on things and doing performance reviews.
Decision-making is really slow and I am just not having fun any more. Do these problems just come with the size of the business?
Sick of It,
Dear Sick of It,
Congratulations on having 20 staff! You have officially joined the ranks of Australia’s medium-size businesses; they are a scarce breed.
Here is my view on paperwork, procedures and red tape: they are a blight on a fast-growing organisation. Didn’t expect to hear that did you? (Accountants and lawyers can complain to Feedback. I’m not listening.)
But don’t worry. It is the job of all entrepreneurs to spring-clean and now, of course, is the appropriate time of year to do so.
Call all staff together and ask them to spend the next week looking at how they do things. Are there any steps that can be cut out, any paperwork eliminated, any red tape that can be cut or any money saved? Make it a competition: those with the best ideas for saving time and money get a prize.
Target those employees who have just joined from large organisations and are keen to make a great impression. Often in their first months these zealous and well-meaning employees will critically examine how things are done and often try to impose big business systems. It takes a while for them to understand that your company’s goals are to comply with all regulations and be efficient with as little paperwork, procedures and red tape as possible.
Happy spring cleaning,
Your Aunty B