Why your Employees are better than External Consultants in Process Improvements
At IdeaBridge.in we pride ourselves on empowering leading global companies to take their game to the next level, to grow, improve profitability and become stronger. It is our belief that your people are your greatest assets. From the service industry to manufacturing to government agencies, our feature rich platform is about empowering you and your people with the tools to improve processes. These tools are effective across the board for professionals, for banking and insurance sectors, in auto and manufacturing spaces; in particular for industries such as pharmaceuticals where research and development form such a large part of the day to day functioning.
We are all about ensuring that you are able to find and implement the best and most relevant ideas. We believe that it is personal knowledge and insight that help a person dream up ideas to bring about changes to get to where you visualize yourself going – something that a hired consultant may not be able to replicate as effectively! While traditionally, the ‘internal consultancy’ services provided by employees, was seen as the ‘poor cousin’ of external consultant agencies, this view is changing. Many are now coming around to the view that employee involvement in process improvements is vital for any organisation. A research report about internal consultants as the agents of change found that creating internal consulting units or ICUs can be very beneficial for organizations for a number of reasons.
Temporary versus Lasting Solutions
While it could seem like a great idea to bring in the ‘experts’ to create solutions and suggest improvements for your organisation, we feel that a more lasting solution is to create a culture of innovation within the organisation. This is why we equip companies with the tools to increase employee engagement and streamline processes. We believe that this is instrumental in developing breakthrough ideas not only in the short term but for the future as well. The customer experience improves overall and in a lasting manner because of the way that your employees themselves become engaged and invested in the process of development and refinement.
Leadership training and fostering
Brainstorming and ideation processes help to foster a cultural change within an organisation. This is a different proposition from the process of hiring expensive outside input which could be project based or for a limited duration at any rate. Since it is the employees themselves who would be taking the initiative to solve specific problems and thinking up ways to improve processes, this entire exercise has the happy side effect of bolstering self-confidence. This goes a long way to detect potential leadership qualities even among the junior employees and to hone existing leadership qualities among the more experienced people in your organisation. In government organizations, where employee attrition and turnover is typically lower than the private sector, this leadership training is even more valuable for the long-term.
Customized Solutions for Process Improvements
External consultants may have certain standardized strategies that they could try to apply to your organisation. Since your organisation is unique in itself; with its own unique challenges this may or may not work. It can make more sense for your own people, who fully comprehend the specific requirements and problems that need addressing within the organisation, to come up with improvement solutions. These would be genuinely unique, customized solutions for precise requirements. Since the ideas have emerged from within the organisation they are specific to its realities. For instance, a company involved in manufacturing could have some particular issues relation to procurement or logistics. The employees themselves would be in the best position to understand the day to day problems these present and may be able to come up with the most effective solutions. Rather than the generic, one-size-fits all solutions that an external observer would offer, employee-generated resolutions are customized and more valuable for precisely that reason!
Change management, continuous improvement
We know that change is the essential driver of progress. Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself, goes the old adage. Expecting others to come in and wave a magic wand to bring out change and progress is unrealistic at best, delusional at worst. The change that you want to see in your organisation has to start from within. Employees involved in professional services would typically be justly proud of the industry specific knowledge and experience they have gained over the years. Rather than expect your employees to accept change foisted upon them from external agencies, it makes more sense to empower them to bring about their own change; change that is spontaneous and self-generated. These changes are much more likely to be implemented and internalized because they are continuous and ongoing. This is not just a limited period solution; but one that brings about organizational change.
And this brings us to the next essential benefit of empowering your employees to become the agents of change for your organisation. Not only are your employees in the best position to tailor process improvement solutions to meet specific requirements, it is also most likely that the solutions that they provide will be adopted and made standard operating procedure for times to come. You may be surprised at the ability of your employees to tweak manufacturing procedures to remove redundancies, to cut costs and refine procurement processes, remove logistical logjams and adopt other ways to streamline. Don’t underestimate your employees’ ability to find genuine, lasting and sustainable solutions for your organisation!
For many small to medium businesses this could well be the clincher: the fact that external consultants could be prohibitively expensive and not within the budget of a business with limited resources. A smaller, more targeted process-improvement approach can make much more sense for reasons of economy; which could dovetail and fit in better with the structure of a smaller organisation.
Ultimately it is your people that are your biggest asset. Don’t underestimate their talents and their ability to think outside the box. If you empower them to become the agents of change for your organisation, they may well surprise you by rising to the occasion!