We live in a society that produces a constant stream of new innovations in business-based technology. The same sales records and personnel files that were once meticulously kept by hand have now become the realm of automatically updating databases. Organizational software that is both simple to use and easily adaptable to fit any sort of situation has streamlined the process. Pen and paper gave way to keyboards and monitors, the endless rows of filing cabinets gave way to air-conditioned server rooms, and even now there are advanced products being designed that will make tablet PCs look like a chisel and stone in comparison.
Through all that shiny new streamlining however, sometimes the most important factor in maintaining a smoothly flowing workplace is taken for granted. Any type of business, no matter how big or how small, is nothing without its people.
This is the big secret. You can do everything right, have all the right methods and techniques, but you will still only achieve mediocre results unless you connect with those around you.
So take a moment to get to know your co-workers a little better, regardless of what position they hold in the structure of your business. A happy and friendly workplace is a highly effective workplace. An employee that has a conversation with another employee during lunch will be more likely to go the extra mile to make sure that person has an easier time of things than they would if they had spent that time waiting alone in the long drive-thru line at McDonald’s.
If you’re in a management position, remember to converse with the people on your team. If you’re on a team, remember to communicate with those in management. The more knowledge shared, the better the work will flow, and the more likely it is that any errors will be caught before they take that flying leap into problem territory.
Finally, remember that brilliant minds and inventive thinkers aren’t always found in window offices or think-tanks. More often than not, they’re found in cubicles, in mail rooms, on mailing lists and in shipping docks. Every advancement in business streamlining came about due to one person having an idea, and another person taking the time to listen. The next great idea may come from the person down the hall, or in the next building over… or from you.