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8 Ways to Improve Your Company’s Efficiency

8 Ways to Improve Your Company’s Efficiency

It’s safe to say that every company out there wants to run their offices as efficiently as possible. That is, the idea is to offer the most and best products and services at the lowest cost. One mistake commonly made by administrators is to confuse quality with quantity.

Whether you’ve been faced with the task of improving a company’s overall efficiency, or if you just want to see where you can improve, the following tips will surely help. Here are several ways to streamline any company’s efficiency while improving quality.

1. Promote a Culture of Open Communication

Promote a Culture of Open Communication

    If your company has implemented an “open door policy,” you’re already pointed in the right direction. This is a great start, but think about taking it a step further. Too often, “open door policies” end up being hollow, rarely-used entries in employee handbooks. These are typically skimmed at best on the first day on the job. Create a culture of true open communication, and productivity will improve as a result of a more positive office morale.

    Encourage communication, collaboration, and feedback between departments, as well as between management and staff. This will liven up the stream of ideas, resulting in a more productive team overall.

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    2. Implement Smart Mobile Devices

    Implement Smart Mobile Devices

      Smartphones, tablets, and other smart devices are an exceptionally effective step toward enhancing productivity. Provide sales staff with smartphones to help them keep in touch with the office via phone and emails while out on sales calls. Tablets give them the ability to create and modify presentations on the go, and there are countless apps available on both these devices that are designed to improve productivity by helping to combine and prioritize tasks.

      When you implement a smart mobile device management system, you will put your company on the fast track toward more effective procedures. This will (in turn) bring a better-quality experience for clients and employees alike, resulting in a stronger bottom line.

      3. Embrace Feedback

      Your employees have opinions. Encourage the entire company to embrace feedback, both positive and negative by creating an outlet for it. It’s a good idea to designate a general hub in the building for staff to communicate and make suggestions about the company. Many choose to do this through a specific website centered around human resource issues, serving as a one-stop-shop for work-related issues and updates.

      For startup companies and small businesses, a more personal — and affordable — approach to this is to hold weekly or monthly meetings to share ideas. You could also use a bulletin board in a central part of the office as a place to share ideas.

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      4. Get a Technology Update

      Get a Technology Update

        Take a look around your main office space. Are your employees typing on 10-year-old monitors connected to antiquated computers? It will undoubtedly seem like a major cost at first glance, but updating employee computers and software periodically is an absolute must. Considering the most basic factor of productivity is speed, equipping office computers with the most efficiently run software and hardware should be the first thing you improve.

        You may be able to get by with a simple hard drive upgrade or RAM boost, but those computers will need regular maintenance, and some in-depth attention every few years. If it has been more than six, it’s time to upgrade the system entirely.

        5. Consult Ergonomic Standards

        Consult Ergonomic Standards

          Have you analyzed employee workspaces for ergonomic standards? It will certainly be in your best interests to brush up on ergonomic standards, and to educate staff on the basics. Bring in a professional and hold a seminar to fill them in on standards. If that’s not in the budget, educate yourself on the key points, and make sure the lifeblood of your company are taken care of in this aspect.

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          Supply staff with office equipment that comply with these standards, such as chairs, foot rests, and keyboards. Don’t look at this as an expense; rather, it’s an investment that will likely yield profitable returns through enhanced employee productivity and lowered worker’s compensation claims.

          6. Streamline Social Media Marketing Efforts

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            Social media is proving to be one of the most viable marketing tools available these days. It’s most certainly a hot topic, and one that isn’t to be ignored. Utilizing these platforms to promote your business is extremely important, but really shouldn’t be a major time concern. A few hours spread out each week ought to be enough to adequately keep up social media accounts for the average company.

            Do yourself a favor and urge your social media coordinator to utilize streamlining apps like HootSuite, Sprout Social and MarketMeSuite. These programs combine social network accounts onto one convenient dashboard, making it easier to control and post to each in a timely manner.

            7. Analyze Employee Processes

            Take a poll of your current employees to gauge their overall efficiency. Have direct supervisors spend an hour or so with each department to determine how each team handles individual tasks. Then meet with these supervisors to compare notes, and discuss whether there is a faster, more efficient way of doing things.

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            This activity will be greatly enhanced by the increased communication practices mentioned earlier. When everyone collaborates like this, more work gets done. As an added bonus, there is a bigger sense of ownership when employees are able to take part in modifying procedures.

            8. Set Achievable Goals

            Once all of these tweaks and changes are made, it’s time to set some realistic goals. Set over-arching, broad goals for the entire company, and then work with department heads to decide which goals to set for each department, and finally, for each employee.

            Setting realistic, tangible goals this way will provide much-needed motivation. To bring this whole process full circle, once these goals are met, plan a company-wide activity such as a potluck, where everyone can relax and enjoy each other’s company, while celebrating their success.

            The task of improving a company’s efficiency can certainly be a daunting one. Don’t be intimidated by the enormity of the situation. Rather, consider this a chance to make your company one that anyone would want to work for, and make it more efficient at the same time.

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            Published on January 7, 2021

            How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

            How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

            Some people see the trees for the forest, and some see only the forest, meaning they lack strong attention to detail. But even if you’re one of the people who take a macro rather than a micro view, true professionalism requires balancing both.

            If focusing on the fine points is not your forte, you will benefit from training yourself to pay attention to details. You will profit by saving yourself time, effort, money, and credibility.

            Why Training Yourself in Attention to Details Pays Off

            You add value to your organization when you make the effort to ensure that you performed your work thoroughly and effectively. This is why job postings often list “attention to details” among the required skills.

            When you present your supervisor or client with well-completed, high-quality work the first time, it maximizes your value and minimizes wasted time. Detail-oriented people are also more adept at catching mistakes that could lead to costly blunders.

            Moreover, attention to detail is an indicator of possessing other in-demand employee qualities, such as organization, thoroughness, and focus. In some professions, such as accounting, engineering, medical research, and more, you can only excel if you have trained yourself to pay attention to details.

            In other professions, possessing strong attention to detail is the very quality that will get you promoted to a position where you will be asked to consider the big picture.

            Finally, if you are the “go-to” details person, everyone else on the team can relax a bit. They know the project is in good hands and will likely throw you more projects as a reward. This will ultimately lead to your advancement.

            3 Important Aspects of Becoming More Detail-Oriented

            Here are the 3 important things you need to learn if you want to remedy your lack of attention to detail:

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            1. Respect deadlines
            2. Understand the work-flow plan
            3. Build in time to mess up

            1. Respect Deadlines

            Deadlines lend all projects a finish line. One smart idea is to take the given deadline and work backward from it, calculating when your piece of the project is due. Then, if you stick to the proscribed schedule for completing the mini-projects that you have, you will never miss a deadline.

            One important note on this: It is smarter to stick to the deadline and turn in work that merits a “B+” than to blow the deadline with “A” work. Chances are, through revision and suggested changes from others on the team, you can bring up your B+ work to an A later. But if you disregard deadlines, you will lose the respect of your boss and fellow teammates.

            2. Understand the Work-Flow Plan

            Your team is developing work in conjunction with other teams who have projects and deadlines of their own. When you grasp the whole work-flow plan, you may be able to either add insight to the greater project or to your own smaller piece of it that others at the firm will consider valuable.

            3. Build in Time to Mess Up

            You can expect that “what can go wrong will go wrong.” Don’t overpromise on deadlines. Something likely will mess up, but when it does if you built in the time to fix it, those around you won’t freak out.

            Chances are, you already give your attention to several details. Take heart. You can do this! You can overcome your lack of attention to detail and become more detail-oriented.

            For starters, consider this: Most people take the time and put in extra effort into the activities or undertakings that matter to them most. Training yourself to become more detail-oriented can mean adopting a similar pattern of behavior.

            Apply the same attention you give to your appearance. Are you a meticulous dresser? Do you pay attention to how you pair patterns and colors, and how you accessorize a particular outfit?

            This is the same system to use when you lack attention to detail with your work. Give every item careful consideration so that each one contributes to the perfectly pieced-together whole.

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            Assemble the ingredients the way you do when you cook. Cooking and baking from scratch require close attention to details as you measure and add each ingredient in sequence, and you time everything so that the meal comes together at the same time.

            Similarly, your work product requires you to gauge whether all the ingredients have been added and that your final product is delivered on time.

            Organize your business network like you do your social contacts. If you follow a broad base of friends and acquaintances on social media, you can apply similar skills to stay up-to-date on details associated with business acquaintances.

            When you meet somebody who could be influential to your career or a resource for improving your skills, follow that person on social media. Respond to their posts to keep the lines of communication flowing.

            12 Tips to Help You if You Lack Attention to Detail

            Teaching yourself to take note of important details involves sharpening your perceptions and thinking ahead. The following tips will help you adopt these practices. Master these habits when training yourself to become detail-oriented.

            1. Learn to Listen Well

            You will pick up relevant information and needed nuance when you apply the skills of active listening. In conversations, train yourself to make eye contact, give your undivided attention to the speaker, and ask pertinent follow-up questions.

            Training yourself to pay better attention to details in conversations includes learning to fully concentrate on what others have to say. If you find it hard, there’s no harm in taking notes on what they say.

            2. Pay Attention to Social Cues

            Make a point of noticing body language and facial expressions that provide insights into how others perceive a situation. Social cues offer details that give you an understanding of how words and actions impact others. The infamous character Michael Scott of the television show “The Office” epitomizes the consequences of not paying attention to others’ body language.[1]

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            3. Follow Rules

            Rules and protocols usually come about from lessons learned and are put in place to avoid further mishaps—whether from a safety or efficiency standpoint. If you’re given step-by-step procedures to follow, check them off as you go. Also, return to the rules at the project’s end just to make sure you adhered to them all.

            4. Take Notes

            Note-taking is a way to boost your retention and gives you something to refer back to when you need to keep track of pertinent details. You will also heighten your focus as you listen for relevant information. Review your notes shortly after the meeting or conversation and highlight the content that you intend to apply.

            5. Prioritize What Needs Your Attention Now

            When you have a full slate of work that demands your attention, take a few moments to sort assignments from most to least urgent. Keep a calendar, spreadsheet, or project planning software up-to-date with schedules and deadlines to help you stay organized.

            As you tackle each urgent assignment, give it your full attention so no details are missed. Give yourself ample time—especially if you tend to be someone who waits until the last minute—as rushing can make you overlook important details.

            6. Have a Detail-Oriented Assistant Check Your Work

            If you lack attention to detail, then it makes sense to seek help from someone detail-oriented. If you have this option, take advantage of it. Two sets of eyes are better than one. Just be sure to credit your assistant for their help once the project is completed.

            7. Learn the Rules of Writing Well

            English is a difficult language, and grammar, punctuation, and spelling can all sabotage you unless you pay attention to detail. When in doubt, look it up. Free to use website services such as Grammarly can help.

            8. Proofread Before You Hit Send

            Nothing is perfect in its first draft. If you lack attention to detail, then put in the extra effort before submitting things. Before you send off any written work, check carefully not only for misspellings and incomplete sentences but also for improper tone, inappropriate colloquialisms, and inconsistent formatting. When your written communications are error-free, they will have their intended impact.

            9. Minimize Distractions

            It is impossible to stay focused when colleagues carry on conversations nearby or your mobile notifications ding you throughout the day. Do your best to limit distractions.

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            If you are working where there is a lot of noise or side activity, try wearing noise-canceling headphones or seeking out a quiet corner. Disable your notifications when you need to focus, and resolve to only check them after you have completed your assignment.

            10. Take Breaks

            It may sound counter-intuitive to stop and take a walk, but it’s necessary. Walk away from the screen. Moving from one task to the next across the span of your workday is a recipe for brain fatigue. Give your brain a recess time when you come to a natural stopping place or after you complete one project and before you start the next. These short pauses are necessary for sorting through all the details needed for coming up with successful solutions.

            11. Make Time for Reflection

            At the end of a workday, take a few minutes to go over the day’s events in your mind. What was said or relayed in conversations? What is the status of the projects you worked on? What else occurred that you should pay attention to? Could there have been any details you might have missed that you should address tomorrow?

            12. Keep a Detailed To-Do List

            This simple organizational tool is your best ally for getting your work done on time and for paying attention to the details. If you are pressed for time (and who isn’t?), write your list to coordinate with dayparts.

            Allot a certain number of hours to complete each task, do it, and then check it off. Nothing feels more rewarding than completing all the tasks on your list. But if you can’t finish them, then carry them over to the following day.

            Final Thoughts

            Details may seem small, but they can become a lot larger when they are overlooked. If you know you lack attention to detail, commit to training yourself to embrace the many facets that can help you consistently excel in the tasks you set out to accomplish.

            When you begin to catch your mistakes in advance or apply the tidbits of information you gathered from paying close attention, you will know that you have trained yourself in the fundamentals of becoming detail-oriented. After that, you should start hearing the phrase “Great job!” more often.

            More Tips on Boosting Your Attention to Detail

            Featured photo credit: Cristina Gottardi via unsplash.com

            Reference

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