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outdated-business-practices

Outdated: 6 business methods that need to go the way of the dinosaur

Lena WimmerLena Wimmer Posted on November 12, 2019

As the years go by, not only people get older. The same phenomenon can be found in organizations. New technologies and trends influence every part of a business, and companies need to adjust to current circumstances. Outdated structures, solutions and processes can extremely slow down and frustrate your team.

Now, why are there some practices that just won’t work anymore? Well, it’s simply because they can no longer be reconciled with the transforming world of work – not with technological progress, and especially not with people.

That’s why you should abolish the following practices as soon as possible:

Micromanagement

While keeping yourself involved in every project, you can easily start losing control. To manage your team more effectively, you should focus on the bigger picture instead. What’s more, micromanagement destroys mutual trust. Even if it seems challenging at first, you just need to give your team autonomy. You should always be available if they need your help, but assure them you trust their judgement. Moreover, the more involved you are in the projects, the more dependent your team will become. In these circumstances, it’s virtually impossible to improve their competences. And one more thing! Micromanagement can lead to your own burnout – which will also affect those beneath you. In the long run, it’s a recipe for failure.

Commitment, self-confidence and dedication are still very important in this day and age. However, what doesn’t work (anymore) is exaggerated meticulousness that literally smothers a whole team. Many companies have already recognized this and rely on open communication and autonomous cooperation. Though, there are many others that didn’t. Of course, project management software makes this change a whole lot easier, because it enables transparency and illustrates the current status of a project.

9-5 office workdays

Rigid 9-5 jobs oblige employees to be in the office every day at specific times for a specific period of time. However, this does not necessarily make employees good workers and certainly not more productive. According to studies, even the opposite is the case. Actually, it has been noticed, that workers who can choose flexible working hours and places are considerably happier and work more efficiently.

A good work-life-balance is extremely important to many employees. For this reason, they also start to claim a right to flexible working hours to make work and family more compatible to each other. Moreover, the employers benefit as they increase employee engagement and position themselves as attractive employer. Flexible working hours are at the top of the list of things associated New Work. After all, 9-5 office workdays should really be a thing of the past.

Using e-mail for internal communication

Electronic mail has been already used for decades and became one of the most popular forms of business communication. Yet, after new media arrived, a drastic change could be noticed. As far as internal exchange is concerned, many companies are now turning to other options - faster, better structured and more secure.

Cloud collaboration tools, such as Stackfield, can remarkably improve internal collaboration. Being a project management software, Stackfield also enables a targeted project- or team-related communication in real-time. By creating different project rooms for several groups of people, information is only ever sent to those people for whom it is relevant. It becomes obvious that this kind of subdivision provides a lot more clarity. Project rooms that are considered less important can be muted. The goal is to be notified only for important news and changes. For this purpose you’re able to set notifications individually.

Tip: For a large number of users, you might consider Stackfields Enterprise version, which includes advanced features to organize all users and additional preference options.

Of course there is another significant issue: security. It is not a coincidence that emails are often compared to postcards. As soon as communication includes personal data and sensitive company internal affairs, security breaches are more than problematic. Stackfield offers the highest security standards, including client-side end-to-end encryption, two-factor authentication and a strict limit to German server locations. Underestimating IT security might have serious consequences. That, too, shouldn’t happen anymore.

Vertical structure

Traditional hierarchy worked well in the Industrial Age, but nowadays it is very much outdated. Is this because of social changes? Yes, very much so. Young generations strive to be creative and innovative and they want to make a difference. This, however, is only possible within flat hierarchies.

Don’t worry, the change is not a negative one at all. Encouraging employees to exploit their own potential, question things, and act independently can have a positive impact on the business. It is even the only way to proceed and the best way to make employees identify with the business. The better they know the company, the better they can improve processes and their own working routine. Who is more motivated and productive, those with steep or those with flat hierarchies? What do you think?

In-house competition

Rivalry among workers seems to be an inescapable part of work-life. Some companies even strengthen that phenomenon by offering rewards and special recognition for best performance within a team. Sure, appreciation is important, but you need to be aware that this approach might cause that team members won’t work together, but rather against each other.

Instead of focusing on comparing employees and making them compete with each other, try to encourage them to cooperate. You could also try to create an atmosphere where competition raises excitement and motivation, rather than anxiety and fear of loss or public humiliation. A great idea is to identify unique skills in every employee and encourage them to use them for achieving goals. That way, everyone feels like an important part of the team. Another approach would be, to offer rewards for the whole team if the project was a success. This way you take teamwork to the next level.

Frequent and long meetings

Have you ever attended an unproductive meeting? We bet you have. We all have. Pointless meetings can cost you a lot of time and money. In fact, on average, employees in the U.S. attend monthly 62 meetings, and half of those are considered a waste of time.

Of course, from time to time, meetings are essential. And that’s also the only ones you should actually hold - the essential ones, e.g. when a new project kicks off. When it comes to giving and receiving feedback, you might consider meeting in smaller groups or one-to-one. This way, every employee can express their opinions. For quick updates on the project's status, you can use project management tools.

Be open to change!

Business world is in a constant state of flux. You can’t really deny that. Undoubtedly, many business practices that were commonplace not too long ago are outdated today. And new generations will continue to reshape the business landscape, both as employees and customers. Therefore, it is important to adopt new developments and trends and to be open-minded and unbiased in dealing with the changing workforce. Those who allow their employees freedom and consider their needs will be rewarded with more commitment, motivation and productivity.

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Lena Wimmer
About the Author:
Lena Wimmer is Product Marketing Manager at Stackfield. She is passionate about American literary history, great content and cinematography.
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