COVID-19 has clearly demonstrated to us that change is a fact of life and will continue to happen. Therefore, organisations should be ready to evolve to succeed in these changing times.
While speaking to accountants during the 2020 Practice Management Course, an annual event organized by the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) where CPA Robert Jack Busuulwa, the Managing Partner of Mazars was invited to present, he said that, in order for organisations to achieve their vision, there is need to align their people (staff and clients), their reason for existence with their overall future outlook
Why alignment important?
There are a number of reasons why organisations should align their operations with their business vision.
For many years, different brands have lost trust of their clients. This has been brought about by many organisations failing to offer the desired services as promised. Many a times, this has been brought about by failure of employees for example to deliver quality services to the organisations clients, and the reason being, these employees do not appreciate in detail the vision of the organization.
Times have changed and so have expectations. What employees have increasingly expected more from their employers, which was not the case before; a case in point is benefits that employees demand from their employers. Helping them appreciate the orgaisation’s overall goal will help in mitigating this.
There is also a need to appreciate how clients operate in their respective organisations, and how best to improve the services we offer to them.
What is driving Alignment?
Like mentioned earlier, change is upon us, and there is need to adapt.
Millennials are one group that requires attention in organisations. This group of people has grown up in an era knowing that everything is possible with technology. The older generation appreciates things done manually. For example, millennials in organisations have increasingly advocated for “work-home” arrangements. Their thought process revolves around their ability to operate remotely and deliver on their assignments. Therefore, there is need for organisations to evolve and address such requests.
Many employees have also increasingly advocated for flexible working arrangements. In such instances, an employee works from the office a few days a week as agreed upon. Covid-19 had shown us that this is possible. Therefore, organisations ought to plan for such scenarios as part of the ways to fulfill their visions.
Professional development is key in enhancing the performance of an employee. This is one thing that employees have come to appreciate over time. Therefore, orgaisations need to appreciate this and put in place a mechanism to develop their staff, because in the end, it feeds well into the realization of their long term vision.
Clients have increasingly shifted from working with any brand to brands with whom they share common values. Therefore there is need for organisations to align their client’s personal and professional values with their own.
Transparency - Trust once lost cannot be regained. And this in the long run affects the implementation of an organisation’s vision. Therefore there is need to cultivate a culture of transparency in an organization.
Reliability - When you promise to undertake certain services, with a certain degree of quality and urgency, you need to fulfill this promise. Unreliable businesses will always lose trust of their customers, and thus will in the long run fail to implement their vision.
Responsiveness – Allow for criticism and act on it. Organisations should always appreciate that a customer/client is important, and therefore needs to be accorded a platform to air out their issues, for the organization to work upon.
Relevance – Clients have increasingly sought for solutions that best fit their operations. Do not recycle solutions. Organisations owe it to their clients to research on their challenges and offer tailor-made solutions to them.
Clients also need more than opinions. Therefore, start a blog, send them newsletter with updates on issues that directly affect their businesses.
Convenience – Consistency is also one of those aspects that clients are looking out in organisations. Do not compromise on quality, give the client exactly what they paid for. In addition, clients need “value for time”. Therefore, organiations need to offer services that are timely.
Times have changed and will keep changing. Organizations, therefore, need to evolve with the times. They need to develop strategies and processes to fit in the over changing world of business. It is only through this that they will be able to realize their long-term goals.