Some people flow with life’s twists and turns, while others move forward according to an orderly long-term program with clear timetables. Each of us has our favored style. But what about large organizations and companies? Here is where orderly work schedules, setting clear strategic objectives, and upholding them, can be the difference between a company that grows and prospers or one that treads water and eventually collapses. Looking at research on the topic, we find that commercial companies which conduct self-review processes and well-defined goals successfully reach higher profitability.
Building the year-long program involves dozens of company employees
This is the tenth year at Rion that we’re holding just such an organized internal process. Its outcome is a detailed year plan that accompanies us through the year. Participating in the process are dozens of employees from all ranks and departments, and each brings her or his unique perspective on their professional sphere. “This is an extensive process encompassing numerous employees from management, professional spheres and operational areas. A total of about 70 employees are partners to plan structuring,” says Dudu Lieb, Rion’s CEO. “We analyze the previous year’s outcomes, review our clients’ satisfaction level, and that of our employees, and reach conclusions. The program does not focus only on the year ahead but allows us to examine our long term strategy, from which we derive the practical goals and targets.”
For four months, from September to the end of December, program builders work on the plan together with the organizational consultant who provides backup all year long. In the coming days we’ll be at the peak of the 2022 program’s structuring, which will then be authorized by the company board of directors. Because employees have taken an active part in structuring it, we gain a team that’s totally on board with the goals and upholding targets.
Not scared by changes when needed
Although we invest effort in structuring a solidly based and comprehensive program, we aren’t afraid to institute changes based on facts on the ground. Each quarter ends with a review of outcomes, a comparison to that quarter’s targets and objectives, checking the predefined indices, and then making the appropriate decisions or adjustments towards staying on track.
A broad perspective allows us to offer better service
Mariana Semoplov, the supply chain department’s buyer, has taken an active part in building the program for the past four years. “One of the important things I gained from participating in the annual program building process is a broadened perspective,” she says. “Often we just don’t see the whole picture from our specific stance. Not all of us are in touch with clients, nor do we know how they perceive the company and its services. Getting to understand that by virtue of participating in the annual program building allows us a better understanding of what’s important to clients, and where we need to improve for more precise ways of addressing their needs in the coming year.”
An engine for cross-organization processes
An additional advantage of the annual program is that it reflects cross-organizational needs very clearly. Aharon Weiss, an engineering manager at Rion in charge of assimilating these processes into the organization: “While working on the annual program we realized that our internal resources were limited, and several departments were competing over them. For example, R&D projects, which are the company’s growth engine, were competing with ongoing production for resources. This let us see the covert competition between the two departments, where each primarily focused on its own needs. We resolved this by setting up a new project management system which prioritizes the various activities and coordinates between the plant’s various sections. The priorities are transparent and accessible to all involved and can be changed in cases of urgent jobs. This action now makes it possible to manage the machinery far more efficiently, as well as human resources, producing better synergy between ongoing production and development projects.”
Linking employees to actions and improving quality
Wanting to examine whether the internal process in which we’re investing extensive resources is indeed bringing us to a better work situation, we looked at internal and external company indices. Firstly, we saw that employee satisfaction increased. The link employees felt to the organization also grew stronger. As a result, we saw an upswing in the index for quality and as an outcome of that, in client satisfaction. This improvement derives wholly and solely from employees feeling recruited to their tasks. The equipment and raw materials remained exactly the same, but feeling motivated by their jobs brought about results in the field.
Self-review which occurs in the framework of preparing the annual program is a gift. Let’s wish ourselves another decade of development and growth!