Avoid Becoming a Broken Business

Like any family, every business at one time or another experiences bumpy ride. Not everything runs smoothly or goes according to plan. Things can spiral out of control where a business becomes “broken” or unstable. However, before any improvements can be made, those in charge need to identify and accept that things are not operating well, and changes need to happen. Without admitting there are issues, any improvements really can’t occur. Avoid becoming a broken business!

If you are a business owner or manager, it’s important to be aware of any potential warning signals to ensure they don’t exist in your business.

Leadership is Nonexistent – It all starts with the “boss” and trickles downhill throughout the business or organization. If those in charge at the top are not strong, or in some cases invisible, then other managers will also copy those characteristics. The end result – organizational incompetence. Almost every employee can easily identify the strengths and weaknesses of top management. Therefore, to convey confidence in their employees, it is key for ALL owners and managers to show strong leadership.

Training is Absent – Despite not implementing any changes, broken businesses “expect” things to improve eventually. However, the laissez-faire management approach never usually works. Without an adequate new hire orientation, it’s delusional for management to expect a successful outcome for these employees. Because of our current business environment where many employees work from home, businesses should take this opportunity to focus on employee training, as well as evaluate training manuals, company processes and procedures.

The Silent Treatment – There’s nothing worse for a business than having its employees wonder or guess what’s going on with their top management. Silence is not golden as it pertains to leadership communication. It all starts at the “top” of the organizational chart. Therefore, when the company’s top management doesn’t communicate effectively, none of the important information is conveyed with the rank and file. Employees don’t want to wonder or speculate about the place where they work and how this information may impact their future. Effective communication is critically important to employees. That’s because employees are always concerned about their paychecks and job status.

Meanwhile, emails are still considered to be a top business communication method. Emails are fast and easy, but businesses become unproductive when employees’ questions and requests are disregarded. Instead of hitting the “reply” button, which is quick and simple, a broken business occurs when an owner and/or manager fails to answer employees’ emails or other forms of communication.

Everyone is Out for Themselves – One of the worst signs of a toxic business environment occurs when employees only think of themselves. For example, where there’s no collaboration, employees tend to find themselves removed and out of touch with what’s happening with their place of business. Helping co-workers is definitely out of the question. At the same time, these employees aren’t looking for their workmates help. A sign of a broken business is when everyone is operating in their own “workplace silo.”

Meanwhile, successful businesses are those businesses where egos are set aside, and employees are open to helping their co-workers. That type of environment is a healthy one which permits a business to prosper.

Keep Your Antenna Up – Any accomplishments or achievements can easily be wiped out if a business is broken. Progress comes to a screeching halt in a broken business, which ultimately negatively impacts the bottom line for a business.

If you’re a business owner or manager, now’s the time to take a deep dive into your company’s overall operations. If you notice possible problems, address them now. If you wait too long, and hope those negative problems will resolve themselves, your once thriving business will become a broken business. Become a proactive leader instead of a reactive one.

Denis Sweeney