Every business has its ups and downs with deadlines and quotas. If you feel like your team isn’t hitting all the targets it should be, you may need to consider how to improve business efficiency.
Efficiency, the target of every high-achieving business, might sound too good to be true: getting the most done with the fewest resources. The best way to look at business efficiency is as a process, not a solid destination.
With a few focussed tips, you can streamline your business, and get this process moving in the right direction. By maintaining an ideal ratio of quality to quantity, your business can function as efficiently as possible.
Goal-Orient Your Projects
Businesses run best with clear, achievable goals. By providing employees with specific targets and reasonable timeframes to achieve them, you can show your team how to improve business efficiency. In the rest of society, ‘multi-tasking’ is a respected attribute, but things are different in the business world. Efficient firms opt for ‘single-tasking,’ where each employee has a list of tasks to complete one at a time.
To ensure a smooth, fluent business, create a priority list to decide which tasks are most immediate and which can be completed later. Prioritising single-tasking increases morale, as employees gain a sense of achievement with each bite-sized goal ticked off the list. This also allows management to accurately assess the team progress and offer rapid support wherever needed.
Promote Open-Door Communication
Communication is key to many things, including relationships, diplomacy, and business efficiency. Many companies operate open-door policies in name only, creating the idea of communication without any of the administrative processes to make it a reality.
Increasing communication increases efficiency and ensures that your team is working as one. Emails can take up a huge chunk of the working day, so consider updating internal communications to more mobile-oriented communications platforms. These include apps like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Whatsapp, which offer communal, face-to-face messaging and video-conferencing without the need to wait around for an email.
Scheduling in moments for feedback, progress reports, ideas, and updates also helps to ensure operations run smoothly and efficiently. These timetabled chats eliminate the distraction created by unnecessary off-the-cuff drop-ins and leave time for employees to thoughtfully and meaningfully share their voices.
Setting aside creative brainstorming time also helps communication and productivity. The scientist Art Fry invented the post-it note for the company 3M while working in allotted creative time. Given time to explore new ideas and feed them back to the group, your firm might just make the newest post-it-style innovation.
Share the Load By Delegating Tasks
The phrase ‘if you want something done right, do it yourself,’ crumbles instantly in the business world, in even the smallest fledgeling firms. Keeping all the tasks in one place creates heaps of pressure, leaving your workflow vulnerable to backlogs and human error. It also destroys efficiency, as the rest of the workforce has nothing to do except twiddle their thumbs.
To expand a business and increase efficiency, firms hire workers and delegate tasks. Employees earn their opportunity to join a business through their talents, experience, and qualifications. Through this process, they should have already proved their ability to complete the necessary tasks. Their only obstacle to increasing the firm’s efficiency is trust and responsibility.
Along with increasing work rate, delegation builds trust and sharpens skills throughout the workforce. Of course, employees should be held accountable for their errors. However, reasonable delegation provides the opportunity for proving and improving.
Incentivise Your Goals and Reward Your High-achievers
Positive reinforcement increases business efficiency far more than criticism and punishment. Alongside the obvious moral issues with constant critiques and reprimands, punishments foster negativity, resentment, and secrecy. By contrast, rewards and incentives bring positivity, team cohesion, and business efficiency to your firm.
The most obvious reward for high-achievers who complete their tasks is a promotion or pay rise. However, your business may not have the scale or resources to hand out rises after every successful project. Still, rewards can be as simple as a sincere ‘thank you,’ or a thoughtful written message of appreciation. Rewards have a huge impact on teamwork and efficiency, and could also include things like paid training, paid time off, a hardware upgrade, or a team bonding exercise.
Adopt Working-From-Home Options
The pandemic had a profound effect on business practices, but even before COVID-19, firms looked to ‘telecommuting’ to increase efficiency. According to studies, employees work 13% more efficiently at home. Factors like cutting out tedious commutes and introducing home comforts can help employees be their most productive selves during work hours.
Cutting commuting also lowers your firm’s carbon footprint and increases accessibility for disabled and long-distance workers. If employees feel slightly under the weather, telecommuting allows them to keep working productively from home. This option is more important than ever, considering the events of 2020.
To safeguard telecommuting’s efficiency gains, ensure your employees have ergonomic, up-to-date working equipment. One-time investments in computing technology, chairs, and keyboards can bring limitless dividends by boosting efficiency and morale. If you’re concerned about workers slacking or switching off at home, consider creating rotas of designated office days and home days on alternating shifts.
How to Improve Business Efficiency With Time and Attendance Systems
Forcing your employees through hours of mindless administrative tasks is a great way to lower business efficiency. If you notice any excess jobs that don’t require critical analysis or a human touch, consider digitalising them with smart software. One such task is organising rotas, and one such software is time and attendance systems.
Time and attendance systems provide a dynamic, intuitive framework for managing the workforce’s hours. The software eliminates the hassle from calculating overtime and allows management to reward efficiency and monitor lateness. Remotely accessible, time and attendance systems offer a mobile punch card for the digital age. Such software incorporates all of the efficiency tips above, promoting properly delegated, well-communicated projects at peak efficiency.