Consumer demand for products and services evolve constantly. Making relevant and appropriate improvements to the workplace is one of the factors that will contribute to your ability to remain a contender in the marketplace. If the competitors you have now are not a reason to make continual improvements, the threat of new competitors entering the market should be.
Maintaining Customer Satisfaction
Total Quality Management, or TQM, is a management philosophy that espouses improvements in work processes for the sole purpose of ensuring customer satisfaction. According to Ron Ashkenas, Dave Ulrich, Todd Jick and Steve Kerr, authors of “The Boundaryless Organization,” TQM can succeed when it focuses on results, not simply re-engineering business activities to keep people busy. For example, a small boutique business offering a niche product may lose revenue if it doesn't meet a growing need for online ordering and door-to-door delivery. Developing a website for online shopping can meet consumer needs and increase customer satisfaction.
Attracting Good Staff
Workplace improvements should cover all aspects of business, including the company's appeal as an employer. If a company does not make changes in human areas such as salaries, career prospects, training, benefits and work-life balance, it will lose potential recruits and talent. Flexible working conditions are a relatively new phenomenon in the workplace, but are being widely adopted by firms that recognize the need to change in order to attract the right staff.
Reputation and Appearance
Physical attributes of a business, such as its offices and equipment, reflect the brand. A professional and up-to-date business environment and its website will project an image of a professional, cutting-edge business. A top hair stylist, for example, would prefer to work in a salon that has new furnishings and modern lighting, rather than the salon down the street that is old-fashioned and drab. The General Services Administration, in a publication entitled “Innovative Workplaces: Benefits and Best Practices,” highlights the positive effect that an improved and modern workplace environment can have on productivity and job satisfaction.
Work Processes and Efficiency
New firms enter the marketplace every day with more efficient working processes and aggressive business strategies. In order to compete in speed of delivery, product quality or pricing, a company needs to allocate resources to constantly monitor the market environment and make changes to maintain relevancy and a competitive edge. Be pragmatic in business decisions and discern which improvements will achieve results and which are not going to benefit the bottom line.
Caroline Banton has more than 14 years of experience in the communications and publishing fields, working in global development and finance. Her articles have covered business, economics and recruitment, among other topics. Banton holds an M.B.A. in marketing management.