The Link Between Business Efficiency and People Management

how adding awareness and compassion to management increases profitability


Where is the power in your business?  Assets, ideas, people?  Awareness and compassion are the power in a business in our opinion.  Here’s how and why.

This blog is inspired by Lean methodologies.  Lean is an approach to operations that focuses on cutting out waste, whilst striving for quality and zero defects.   This approach can be applied to all aspects of a business – from design, through production to distribution.  A company practicing Lean aims to make the business more efficient and responsive to market needs and continually improve their processes whilst removing waste.  

This article is co-written in conjunction with Andy Dobson – a Lean Consultant with 15 years experience of implementing Lean tools in sectors as diverse as Pharmaceuticals and Steel-Making. Here we will explore how techniques developed in Japanese factories renowned for their efficiency translate to all sectors and to the management of people.

Asset Management

When asked “What’s your greatest asset?”  most companies would say “People are our greatest asset”

We say “Fabulous, can you show us your asset management programme?  That’s where the conversation often gets a bit awkward.   Even in firms that have some wellness provision it’s often cursory rather than an integral part of company culture and employee engagement.

Applying Lean

Lets take a leaf (or two) out of the Lean Business manual and explore a tool called 5S in the context of wellness and mindset in business.   The 5S’s are sort, set in order, shine, standardise and sustain


Remove anything not necessary from the work areas.   Not redundancy, this is all about making it straightforward for a person to do their role.  Do they have the right training, the right mindset, the correct tools, software, managers that listen and support rather than browbeat and demand?

Set in order

No not a banana shape piece of tape on your desk indicating where you should place your banana.

    • Do the tools or equipment necessary for the role make sense?  Is there a logical flow without repetition or unnecessary tasks.  
    • Avoiding frustration and adding a sense of efficiency and achievement is key here. 
    • Is enough time given for the tasks to be done, realistic targets set which are stretching yet achievable.


Let’s leave dusting and cleaning for another time.   

    • To shine from a people management perspective is to recognise effort, talent and ideas, from everyone.
    • To encourage yourself and others to develop and think differently to continuously improve the company from a client experience to employee engagement and everything in between.


No not make everything regimented and controlled.  Almost the opposite.  

    • Note what works well and turn that into a framework to leave some flexibility. 
    • Ask what can make things better and how people feel, see what makes them tick and standardise to people types or rules depending on your situation.
    • Frameworks allow for development and change which is expansion on all levels.


Keep the process of change and improvement going, harness the passion for development.  Collect up all the ideas, recognise who made a difference and what that meant for clients, colleagues and themselves.  Open peoples minds to what they can achieve and how to ditch the old ways of thinking and being.


The flow and ethos throughout is adding compassion and awareness within every process and decision.  Enable your managers to cope with a more flexible style of management and amazing things will happen.  Teams will gel better.  Ideas will be given that could transform a process or division, clients will be happier, employees stay for longer and be easier to promote.

Still not sure how the 5S relate to mindset and wellness, consider this:

When people feel good they are more open to change, come up with better ideas, focus more keenly, find more efficient ways of working.  They will also be more present, happier, compassionate, listen better and generally be better sales people/ operators/managers.  

This all translates into more satisfied clients, greater productivity and hence profitability.

Embedded Wellness

Wellness without modern compassionate, supportive management is only skin deep.  You owe it to yourselves the workforce and your company to get this right.   Here at Zoifos we have a fabulous toolbox to help you achieve this quickly and effectively with a bespoke programme for you.   

Andy Dobson:

Andy has 15 years experience of working with Lean concepts across Operations and Supply Chain.  Zoifos are pleased to welcome him to the Consultant Team.

Here is what Andy says about Zoifos and why our way is as good for people as Lean is for Operations.

“It’s all about the people” – that is true, you need people in your business.  Even in unmanned factories, people still need to be there catching things robots miss and keeping the wheels turning.  

Over the years I have found that the people actually doing the work have great ideas on how things can be improved.  However, they often feel unable to communicate these ideas to Management as they feel their input would be dismissed.  This is why it is critical to business that ‘our greatest asset’ is given the tools it needs to function to the best of its ability.

By true collaboration with internal and external resources (suppliers) you can make gains which give real competitive advantage.”

Add Awareness and Compassion, its the difference between a good business and a great one.

If you’d like to embed positivity, development and real, sustainable change alongside wellness and a great mindset to your staff and business we invite you to apply to work with us.   Book a 15 minute chat with us here for a chat with a real person (we don’t have sales people)  

Let’s get real results for real people. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *