Finding Your Business’ “Operating Rhythm”

Owning and operating a business can feel a bit like plate-spinning. So much is happening all at once, the business landscape ever-changing, and this complexity is compounded when you have a team of people working for you. As a business leader, you’re responsible for overseeing a wide range of critical things – customer satisfaction, attracting high-quality staff (and retaining them), generating high-quality leads, upskilling yourself and your team, monitoring performance, paying bills, bookkeeping and compliance – and so much more.

Your capacity as business owners is so often consumed by these tasks. As a result, developing and maintaining a Strategic Plan is often overlooked or neglected. It must be said – neglect your business’ Strategic Plan at your own peril. It includes everything from your vision & mission statements, strategic business priorities, goals, KPIs, coaching & mentoring, and so much more.

Having an Operating Rhythm is the key to implementing and informing your Strategic Plan, an end-to-end system that lays the foundation for a business that runs smoothly, assists buy-in from staff, and affords you the time to focus on growing and working “on” your business, rather than “in” it.

Operating Rhythm – Definition & Deliverables

An “Operating Rhythm” refers to the overarching, codified framework that incorporates your business’ purpose, its goals and KPIs, and how they will be achieved. It is comparable to a roadmap for your business, comprising a broad range of factors that contribute to business success beyond just your balance sheet. It dives deeper into the day-to-day operations, how you manage your people, what role they play on the growth of your business, and more. Included in a comprehensive Operating Rhythm are values, vision, mission, strategic priorities, goals, and coaching.

Typical deliverables of an operating rhythm can include handouts to the management team and staff outlining the abovementioned items, a performance management framework, engagement surveys, NPS (Net Promoter Score) surveys, organisational charts, and training & development plans.

What an Operating Rhythm can do for Your Business

There are a few key objectives that a great Operating Rhythm will deliver for your business. These include giving you clarity in your business’ direction, improving the buy-in and engagement of your staff, providing tangible, relevant data to inform effective strategic decisions, and improving the overall team performance. More on those here:

Clarity: As a business owner, you likely have a crystallised idea of where you want to take your business, goals you want to achieve, and a timeline around those. However, taking these ideas in your head and codifying them in the form of an Operating Rhythm, gives you clarity. It becomes a reference point for decision making. For example, when a business opportunity arises and you’re considering it appropriateness within your strategic direction, you can refer back to your Operating Rhythm for guidance.

Engagement: Developing and sharing your business’ Operating Rhythm with your team gives them a number of important things. The first is a detailed and transparent look at the direction of the business as a whole. Your team will know what the overall business plan is, why certain decisions are made, and what goals and priorities the business has identified. Next is an indication of how they fit into that overall strategic direction. This improves buy-in from the team, by giving them confidence that their role is critical to the realisation of the bigger picture, and answers the question ‘what’s in it for me?’. An Operating Rhythm also improves engagement, by giving your team an opportunity to give feedback and share ideas, and a platform for you to communicate with your team what you are doing to act upon that feedback.

Data: Employee Satisfaction is somewhat intangible, making it difficult to measure. A comprehensive Operating Rhythm should address this by incorporating an Engagement Survey, where your team is given the opportunity to rate their satisfaction at work, offer ideas for improvement, and speak up about issues. Implementing a regular Engagement Survey gives you up-to-date data that you can benchmark against previous survey results. You can then see if you’re moving the needle in the right direction, and make impactful change within the business for the benefit of your team.

Performance: An effective Strategic Plan and Operating Rhythm will drive performance improvements in your business, and allow you to effectively monitor that performance. You will have the tools to pick up issues or concerns early before they become a real problem, and work to rectify them in a proactive manner. The strength of an Operating Rhythm is in its flexibility. Rather than a ‘set and forget’ approach, is allows the business to pivot should the need arise. If the last couple of years are anything to go by, adaptability is key in navigating business challenges!

An Operating Rhythm assists in implementing an effective strategy by aligning your team’s (including owners) performance with the goals and values of the business, demonstrating the role that everyone plays in achieving success.

Next Steps

If you’re looking for a tool that facilitates the improvement of team engagement, adds value to your business, and guides effective decision-making, then an Operating Rhythm could be just what your business needs. Doing it alone, however, can be challenging and time-consuming, especially when you’ll likely have plenty of other things on your plate. The P+P Advisory team are specialists in helping clients overcome business challenges, tailoring a unique approach to the needs and circumstances of your business.

If you’d like to know more about how we can help, you can call us on +61 2 9093 1311 or contact us via our website.

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