“Focus on your problem zones, your strength, your energy, your flexibility and all the rest. Maybe your chest is flabby or your hips or waist need toning. Also, you should change your program every 30 days. That’s the key.” ~ Jack LaLanne
Jack LaLanne was talking about fitness and health, but his advice also holds true for business.
You know your business. Maybe you need to “focus on your problem zones.” Maybe some aspect of your company is flabby and needs toning. Don’t wait for it to fall apart; tone it up now. My favorite piece of small business advice from LaLanne’s simple quote is the encouragement to “change your program every 30 days. That’s the key.” And that’s the definition of flexibility. But while we may not change key aspects of our company monthly, they do need to be reevaluated often—and changed or at least tweaked.
Flexibility is good for business and it’s good for your employees, too.
If you’re trying to get yourself to be more flexible and you’re finding it kind of difficult, then do some research and gather examples of companies that offer more flexibility than yours does. Learn from them. Focus on noncompeting organizations: They’ll be more willing to help and advise you because they are not worried about losing customers to you. But also consider something that Ivana Taylor mentioned in 7 Karmic Principles for Your Business and Life.
In this article she references Michael Roach, co-author of Karmic Management, and his seven karmic principles. Principle #6 says “To free yourself from a world that doesn’t work the way you want it to, learn about the hidden potential of things.” Change always holds hidden potential.
Since we can’t keep people who don’t want to be kept—personally or professionally—then doggedly holding on to old ways of doing business can be painful and unproductive. Turnover happens.
But as Anita Campbell highlights in Is Your Workplace Flexible? If Not, You’re Being Left Behind, there may need to be a greater degree of freedom. Referencing the Survey on Workplace Flexibility by WorldatWork, Anita states that “98 percent of U.S. employers currently offer at least one workplace flexibility program.” This refers to work plans like allowing employees to spend a few days each week working from home, or a four-day workweek instead of five, and several others. The point is, there are simple ways to provide flexibility to your employees if you decide that it’s important to your team.
Is it important?
Well, Anita says, “companies reported that flexibility had positive impacts on their employees’ motivation, satisfaction and engagement.” In fact, she states, “a stronger culture of flexibility was correlated with a lower rate of voluntary turnover.”
A motivated employee is a more effective one.
From personal experience, I know that flexibility can create an inspiring environment–and that is good for business. I mean, who doesn’t want someone on their team who’s excited about and focused on the work that they do, the problem that they solve for your clients?
In 3 Tips For Creating Motivational Environments, John Mariotti says, “No one can motivate someone else. They can only create an environment in which a person can become motivated. Motivation is a self-induced condition.” If that’s true, then we might as well focus on the part that we can control. Hire the best team you can, and create the best environment you can. Don’t just settle for what you have always done. Find the new “best practice” and establish a standard.