By Henry Brown
Any business that is serious about wanting to succeed needs to take a closer look at how time and effort is spent in the business. Is it being directed in the right way? Is it being wasted? Are there methods and circumstances that are making it harder to optimize? These are the questions we’re going to help you solve with five simple methods.
You can’t truly know how efficient your business is unless you understand exactly what it is to be productive. Your business might have a lot of processes to deal with, from admin to communication, to planning, to customer service and so on. Without an organized approach to prioritizing these different needs, neither you nor your team will know where time and effort can be best spent.
Know to delegate the most important tasks first, instead of adding needlessly to everyone’s workload. Just as important is knowing whom to delegate to. Make sure you’re giving the task to the person with both the room on their workload to handle it as well as the skills.
What matters more than who is doing the task is how they’re doing it. Everyone has different approaches to work and while creativity is a good way to find a better process of tackling a job, it can also lead to sub-optimal results. So, make sure you’re taking the time to address the methods and tools used to handle a process. When you find those that work best, systemize them. Turn them into a rule that accompanies the task, keeping that important knowledge forever in the business. Otherwise, when a new staff member tries their own approach, they could be ignorant of the better methods that would use a lot less of their time and effort and still produce the desired results.
And just as important as the work are the conditions in which the work is done. Poorly maintained environments, workstations, and equipment mean a lot more interruptions to work, whether it’s a cluttered environment leading to a cluttered, unfocused mind or unreliable tech leaving people unable to do work. From using cleaning services to creating a maintenance schedule for digital devices, create better standards for the effects that allow your team to do their jobs.
To really make an impact, efficiency needs to be measurable. Any progress you’re making has to be noted. This means taking account of things like key performance indicators. Measure how much work is done, how long it takes, how many mistakes are made, among other metrics. Make productivity review a key part of the workplace culture, or you won’t know whether your changes are really improving things.
The accountability of the individual has to play a role when measuring productivity. When it is the fault a team member, you can’t ignore it. Address it respectfully, framing the conversation as an opportunity to help them find a solution. It might be that they have motivation or engagement problems that you could solve by offering more as an employer, whether that’s a new benefit or more flexibility. Or, they might have problems with your systemization process, which means you need to look at how to make them more fitting to the individual.
There is no one answer to how you immediately make a business more efficient. Instead, there are rules and maxims you apply to every single process and every single person. The rules above will help you better approach any block in the workflow and any potential for productivity without fail.
Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop he’s roaming the streets of London, uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.