The global pandemic has complicated most people’s lives, according to the newest World’s Simplest Brands study from Siegel+Gale. Companies that have managed to thrive over the past two years are those that have simplified consumers’ lives and reduced their stress. While the top winners — Amazon, Costco and Google — may not be a surprise, the increasing value being placed on simplicity in every industry deserves further examination.
While researching and writing Why Simple Wins, it became clear to me that simplicity not only has the power to increase consumer engagement, it can also boost employee engagement. Tying aspects of compensation or performance reviews to simplification is one path forward. And if you’re a leader, another way to sustain anti-complexity efforts (and keep yourself accountable) is through monthly check-ins with your teams.
To this end, consider creating anonymous surveys with some or all of the following True/False questions:
1. Has leadership clearly articulated what simplification is and what it will do for our company?
2. Do my managers/directors support my effort to simplify?
3. Am I encouraged to identify and eliminate redundancies or unnecessary policies and reports wherever possible?
4. Do I encourage my teams to identify and eliminate redundancies or unnecessary policies and reports wherever possible?
5. Are decision-making processes within my org clear and quick?
6. Can I say with confidence that decision-making processes within my org do not require excessive layers of approval?
If everyone in your organization is committed to simplifying, you should see “True” answers consistently across the board. If you don’t, it’s a sign that there’s a disconnect either in the messages they’re getting from above or in their ability to actually simplify their work.
Remedy this by revisiting the messaging from leadership to ensure that every level of staff sees simplification as a daily priority. Likewise, review the simplification training and other resources available to your employees. If you find learning and development in this area to be lacking, consider providing a skill-building program like this simplification course or this virtual workshop.
While simplicity has been important to consumers for years, the pandemic elevated its role in people’s daily lives. To provide customers or clients with the simplified brand experience they crave, simplification must first become a daily experience for your own employees. Make it a top priority for them by baking it into day-to-day operations and year-to-year routines — as well as your rewards and recognition program. From stronger consumer loyalty to better employee retention, simplifying how your company operates today is key to remaining relevant in the future.