You will be familiar with the adage that time is money, and it is that which pushes us forward to being more efficient and productive, but when was the last time that you sat down and thought seriously about how your organization can become more efficient? Typically, businesses review efficiency in reaction to dips in economic performance, but to keep ahead of the game, you should be proactive and regularly review your processes and procedures to avoid complacency and give your business the competitive edge.
- Ask your staff
While you may have a fair idea about the tasks and duties that your staff perform daily, you may not be familiar with the finer details. To get insight into the workings of your organization, conduct a survey that asks employees about how they would improve their work. There are simple things that will be brought to your attention; you may find that the administration team is frustrated by the speed of the printer, or its location means that they must walk to the other side of the office building to retrieve documents. A solution would be to buy a new, quicker printer or to house it in a more accessible location. There may be a duplication of data and documents that again reduces efficiency, and introducing cloud-based solutions will allow for interdepartmental collaboration and reduces the risk of human error.
- Develop skills
It feels counter-intuitive to spend time (and time equals money, remember) developing your and your employees’ skills. Time out of the office means that work is not being completed. However, by furthering your knowledgebase, you are opening your organization up to new possibilities and ideas that will lead to an increase in efficiency. Choose career development options that will add value to your operations whether they be accredited industry qualifications or access to a library of books to inspire and motivate your staff. If you’re unsure on which books to invest in, then Blinkist is an app that has over 2000 summaries of books, meaning you and your employees can see whether a book is worth your time and money before buying it.
The added benefit of developing your employees’ skills is that they will feel valued and nurtured by the organization, which increases morale and motivation to work efficiently.
- Track time
During the working day, you will undertake a multitude of tasks that require your attention. Some will require more time spent on them than others, but you need to work out whether it is worth your time completing them. Try and get into the habit of recording the time spent on each task and calculate roughly the dollars the company spends paying you for the time. Obviously, some tasks will need you to do them personally, but there will be things that economically don’t work out as a good return for your time – so delegate them to a member of staff on a lower pay scale to save managerial time. This is also an effective way to develop and widen employees’ skillset.
All business leaders want to strengthen their position within the marketplace, and increasing one’s efficiency is the only way to do this. With streamlined processes and procedures, you can ensure that your organization’s operations are at its peak performance, and with employees that have been listened to and had their skills developed, you will see that as they feel more valued.