Each year, new technological advancements are developed for the business world to decrease downtime and improve office efficiency. However, incorporating new technology alone is not enough to make a drastic change to your company’s workflow. There are a number of important factors that come into play when improving operational efficiency, and you don’t have to brake the bank to utilize them. If your business is struggling with workflow management and it’s hurting your bottom line, consider the following tips to motivate your team and get your office back to working at its most efficient level.
At the forefront of improving workflow is communication. Nothing is more important to the efficiency of a company than its dissemination of ideas to all members of the staff. Improving communication in the office, whether it be through technology or in policy, will ensure that all employees are on the same page with what needs to be done, how it should be completed, and what changes need to be made. When employees are uncertain about a project or idea, their productivity plummets and overall office workflow will suffer. Make sure your entire staff is operating at their most optimal levels by finding ways to improve communications throughout your business.
Keeping organized not only helps you better plan out your day, it also reduces workflow-killing stress from your mind. When people are unorganized, they are constantly considering what project or task they should be completing instead of focusing on the one at hand. This leads to a decrease in workflow efficiency and makes simple projects turn into nightmares. Incorporating a better organizational structure into your company will make sure every one is on the same page for what needs to be done and will ease any stress your employees might have of not knowing whats ahead.
Hire the Right People
Sometimes no matter what new systems you put in place to improve workflow, it all comes down to who is utilizing it. The right staff can make all the difference in workflow and office motivation. Just think back on the people you have worked with over the years. There are those who are excited to get work accomplished and those who look for excuses. Hiring the right employees will improve company morale and will help you to improve workflow.
Employees trained in the processes of the company will better understand what is expected of them and be more comfortable with their work. Once intimidation sets is, workflow suffers as the employee is constantly worried they are doing something wrong. With constant training, you can ensure that your staff is up-to-date on all projects and that they have a clear understanding of what lies ahead. Don’t hesitate to ask your employees if they have any questions or concerns about the project or task ahead of them as they may be too nervous to let you know themselves.
Use Automated Technology
There is plenty of great technologic or electronic systems available for most all industries that can save time and improve workflow. Although they might not all be right for your specific business, there is most likely a few systems you can incorporate to reduce downtime and improve office efficiency. Consider what areas of your business are slowing your employees down and see if it can be improved with new technology.
Challenge and Budget Time
Challenging the time it takes to have a project completed is a delicate balance between improving workflow and overwhelming employees. To tread these waters properly, make sure your employees can handle any changes you establish to improve their efficiency. If they are already overworked and you try to reduce the time certain projects take, your employees will become demotivated and workflow will suffer further. However, if you can find ways to reduce the time it takes to complete a project by eliminating pieces or steps that aren’t mandatory to success, you could be helping relieve some of the burden placed on employees. This will allow them to get on to the next project and cut down on time wasted, which will boost motivation and companywide morale.
Hire Clerical Support
Every second your team spends filling out paperwork or filing is time spent away from getting the next sale, finishing the big report, or preparing for the next meeting. By hiring a clerical support team, you can streamline your workflow by keeping your employees focused on what they were hired for, not the paperwork that follows. The money you save by keeping higher level employees working will far outweigh the new salary you will bring on to hire a little extra help.
These tips only scrape the surface of things you can incorporate into your business to improve workflow. The goal is to make you and your employees lives less complicated, so only establish changes that are easy to follow through on. If you notice your business isn’t operating as smoothly as you would like, don’t hesitate to make changes to improve your operational workflow. Remember that an increase in workflow efficiency comes an improvement in employee morale, and happy employees are the foundation of a successful business.
About the Author:
Scott Daub is president of Forma Technology, a Pompano Beach-based telecommunications company that provides business phone systems to small and midsize companies. Scott has been involved in the telecom industry since 1999. He enjoys sharing his knowledge on the telecommunications industry and writing about the ideas and events that inspire people to take their businesses to the next level.