Efficiency is the backbone of a profitable and successful business. Most business owners, however, confuse efficiency with productivity. Efficiency specifically refers to how much time an employee spends on a single task. The less time spent on a single task, the more efficient the employee is. The overall business can become more efficient by reducing time wastage. Achieving efficiency is not that difficult for companies. Though it does require making employees, not just the operations, more efficient. Here is a list of simple hacks that will allow your company’s employees to be more efficient:
1. Pay for Useful Apps and Software
There are no sensible excuses for allowing employees to spend hours on a task that can be automated to be completed in a matter of minutes. While most software is not as sophisticated to handle entire workloads, employees can definitely use tech tools to fast-track completion of tasks. For example, Skype is a low-cost and easily available app that will allow employees to communicate instantly without wasting time. Mint is a neat app that can track expenditure on small-scale levels. There are impressive programs that can help employees do complex things like accounting without engaging in processes that take time. Businesses should, therefore, invest in such useful apps and train employees how to use them to improve efficiency levels.
2. Appoint Team Leaders for Everything
The best way to improve employee efficiency is to build a strong management team, advises veteran entrepreneur and management consultant John Burgess. Good managers and project leaders know how to get the worker bees to meet deadlines on time. Therefore, build good managers from the ground up and have team leaders in each department. This establishes responsibility by way of a chain of command. Leaderless employees are highly inefficient and spend time in meetings without getting things done. Therefore, follow this simple advice and invest in great team leaders and managers.
3. Encourage Meaningful Communication
One of the major ways office workers waste time is meetings. Specifically, those “only five minutes” meetings that go on forever without getting anything done. Employees get more things done at their desks than at conference tables. These meetings mostly occur when the employees are not communicating properly. There could be barriers to communication, such as lack of right software. Communication can also be problematic, such as using outdated chain email systems. Avoid this problem by training employees how to communicate without wasting time. Use tech tools, like Skype, as mentioned above.
4. Discourage Checking Personal Social Media and News
There’s little point in banning social media sites inside the office. There are solutions that are counterproductive, and banning social media sites is one of them. You are dealing with adults here and not your teenage child. Treating adults like children is a sure way of ascertaining failure. Remember, the thing with children is that when they grow up, they rebel. The last thing you want is having employees who feel frustrated, and unhappy at the workplace. You intend to make them more efficient, and no one needs to tell you that unhappy employees are the least efficient ones. However, companies should strongly discourage employees from checking personal social media feeds or the news during work hours. It only leads to time wastage. Tell employees to check Facebook or CNN during break times when they are not working.
5. Don’t Overwork Employees
Nothing will ever get done right if the employees are overworked. Therefore, delegate tasks and make sure the employees can handle the workload during work hours without staying overtime, or if they can handle it, give them enough time to complete it at their pace. Ensuring that employees are qualified to handle the delegated tasks also increases efficiency levels. Moreover, it’s beneficial to be open enough to employees such that they can approach the relevant authorities when they feel overworked, or given a task that’s beyond their skill level. It’s your duty to ensure you know what each employee is capable of, remember that they are human, and therefore, ensure that whatever is on their plate is something they can work on comfortably and efficiently.
In addition to the above, companies should also make sure that employees come to work well rested. That is to say, the employees have slept well the previous day. Sleep deprivation can lead to a lack of focus and irritability, which does not do any good for efficiency levels.