Are you looking to super-charge your business’ productivity and profitability? One of the best ways to boost your company is to focus on efficiency. Many companies sabotage themselves by wasting a lot of time and resources on repeated tasks and unnecessary effort.
Optimizing a company for efficiency can feel like a daunting task because there are often dozens of points where time and money are lost. The good news is that there are some simple ways to knock out a lot of these weak points.
1. One Thing at a Time
It can be tempting to look to multitasking as a solution to efficiency issues. After all, surely your most talented employees can handle some extra tasks, right? Studies show that while this may save time in the short run, it could hurt your efficiency in the long run.
Instead, figure out the lost time and energy that lurks inside each specific task and work on streamlining it. By focusing on one task at a time and getting your team’s feedback, you’ll be able to optimize your schedule going forward. Make sure to refine the order of tasks to ensure no time is lost along the way.
2. Set Clear Goals and Expectations
One of the biggest causes of lost time and efficiency is when team members aren’t working towards the same goal. Even in remote teams or different divisions, it’s key everyone is on the same page. Make sure you’re communicating your goals clearly and clarifying them when needed so they remain fresh in people’s minds.
If there are different department leads, make sure they pass it down to their employees. All team levels should have the same goals in mind because a lack of clear goals and expectations can set even the best-staffed team back quickly.
3. Automate Processes
One of the biggest setbacks for teams is that downtime while waiting for a person to approve a completed task or respond to an email. You can avoid most of this by automating repeated processes to make them simpler and more agile.
If you know the team will perform tasks regularly and the same way, an automated system will keep them consistent and leave less room for error while freeing up your talent. You may want to consider a cloud-based platform that automates these processes. Agile project management, or APM systems, often help teams speed up processes and manage deliverables.
4. Match Tasks to Skills
You might be wasting the productivity of your best team members if they’re not assigned to the task that suits their skills. Make sure to get feedback from your staff to see if they feel comfortable with their current position or feel they’d be better served elsewhere.
Even in a team with leadership that feels open to feedback, it can be intimidating to ask the boss for a change in assignment. That’s why it’s important to be proactive and make sure your team knows your expectations to ensure that reassignments happen smoothly and before the team loses productivity.
5. Reduce Interruptions
Is there anything more frustrating than finding a groove on an assignment and then suddenly being called into a company-wide meeting? These little interruptions can add up and lead to a serious loss of productivity if the team doesn’t have a work environment that lends itself to concentration.
The first step is to identify the common interruptions that disrupt your company’s workflow. See if you can reduce them, and if they’re unavoidable the best strategy is to teach your employees how to reduce distractions and concentrate amid the chaos. No workplace is ideal, but most workplaces can be improved to be more peaceful.
6. Improve Communication
Miscommunications between team members and supervisors can cause a lot of pointless delays. Refining your communications process can help improve your efficiency. Make sure you’re keeping tabs on your team members regularly to ensure you can resolve any issues or delays early.
Every company has a different level of communication needed depending on how involved and how independent the process is. You may want to invest in a centralized in-house communication platform or app where you can keep all the conversations related to the project, rather than being located in individual emails.
Optimize Your Next Project
Whether your team is struggling or just looking for a boost, most projects could benefit from a bit more efficiency. The key is finding where you’re losing time and money and closing those gaps. These simple suggestions will send your next project speeding to the finish line.