Advertising
Advertising

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.

    Advertising

    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.

      Advertising

      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.

          Advertising

          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

          pic5

            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.

            Advertising

            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.

            More by this author

            5 Painless Ways To Cut Costs And Enhance Your Budget 7 Signs you Might be Spending too Much Time with your Car 5 Car Apps That Make Your Life So Much Easier 8 Ways to Improve Your Company’s Efficiency 5 Ways Your Smartphone Can Land You a Job

            Trending in Work

            1 Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart 2 The Lifehack Show Episode 12: Staying On Top of Your Game as an Entrepreneur 3 How to Speak Up at Work Without Being Offensive 4 How to Use Visual Learning to Work More Effectively 5 The Lifehack Show Episode 10: Dealing With Burnt Out Bosses

            Read Next

            Advertising
            Advertising
            Advertising

            Last Updated on November 19, 2019

            Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart

            Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart

            I imagine that like me, you say that you never have enough time and that you just cannot cope with 60 dozen things all at once.

            How on earth do you get out of that spiral?

            Many people never sit down and look at how to work smarter, rather than harder and even longer hours. But not you, you’re smart enough to try to learn effective ways to work.

            So how to work smarter not harder? Here are 12 smart ways you should be following:

            1. Improve Your Time Management Skills

            Easier said than done? Well, no actually, because there are a few simple rules that can really help you to manage time better.

            For example, when setting up a top priority task, you need to switch off the phone and ignore your email first. Then you need to abandon any ideas of multitasking as that will slow you down and ruin your focus.

            Finally, set a reasonable deadline and do everything in your power to meet it.

            “When you’re born, you’re born with 30,000 days. That’s it. The best strategic planning I can give to you is to think about that.” — Sir Ray Avery

            2. Speed up Your Typing and Use Shortcuts

            These days we’re all keyboard slaves. So why not speed up your typing and try to get rid of the two finger syndrome. In fact, when you save 21 days per year just by typing fast!

            This is exactly what I am doing now, so I cannot honestly say I am practicing what I preach!

            Advertising

            But help is at hand. Try some of these apps and games to help you type fast: 8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast

            Using shortcuts on the keyboard is another time saver and can speed up your work.

            For example, press F2 to rename a selected file, while CTRL + I will put selected text in italics.

            There are so many of these. If you make the effort to learn them, they really can be helpful.

            3. Learn How to Use Productivity Tools

            It is well worth downloading all the useful tools and apps that can highly boost your productivity. Take a look at these 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools and install whatever fits your needs.

            Now that is really a great way of working smarter, not harder.

            4. Use Your Phone Wisely

            Instead of writing emails, sometimes it’s better to pick up the phone and talk to the person responsible. It saves time, especially for important or urgent discussions.

            If that colleague works in the same office, it is even better to go and talk to him or her. It gives you a break, you get some exercise and you actually make human contact which is becoming quite rare in this electronic world.

            5. Keep a Tab on Your Tabs

            If you are like me, you might well find that you have a ton of tabs open at the top of your browser.

            In order to find the one you want, you have to search for them as they are off screen. Having all these tabs open slows down your browser too.

            Advertising

            One solution is to use OneTab which can keep a neat list on the screen of all these tabs when you want to quickly get to one of them or you want to remind yourself which ones you have open.

            6. Use a “To Don’t” List

            We all know about to do lists and I find that they are generally great. They give me a great sense of achievement as I cross off the tasks done.

            But often, I find that we are doing non-essential tasks or ones that can easily be postponed. That is why many people recommend the to don’t list.[1]

            Some people prefer to savagely prune the to do list while others prefer to have two separate lists, to do and to don’t. You just have to work out what works best for you when you are trying to save precious time to become more productive.

            7. Expect Failure and Fight Paranoia

            When failure rears its ugly head, some people get a bit paranoid and fear that this may become a trend.

            Projects will go wrong and failure should be expected rather than feared. Learning lessons from failure and analyzing what went wrong is the best way forward.

            “Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” — Richard Branson

            And here you can find 10 Great Lessons Highly Successful People Have Learned From Failure.

            8. Be Concise

            Rambling on at meetings, in emails and even when introducing yourself to new clients can waste a lot of people’s time.

            One way is to practice and sharpen your “elevator speech,”[2] which tells people in 30 seconds or less why they need your skills and how they can benefit from doing business with you.

            Advertising

            Just think of the many situations where this could be useful:

            • Making new contacts
            • Talking about yourself at a job interview
            • Meeting people at conferences or parties
            • Phone calls to new clients

            9. Ask the Right Questions

            “You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” — Naguib Mahfouz

            How do you get feedback? The secret is to ask the right questions at the right time.

            When you do this, you are gathering the information you need to help in decision making. This will save you time and you will be able to cut meetings to a minimum.

            Forbes magazine reports on research that they carried out on asking the right questions.[3] When that happens, the positive effects are increased by 400%. There are also other benefits in staff motivation and a positive impact on the company’s bottom line.

            Lifehack’s CEO Leon has shared about how to ask for feedback to learn faster: How to Learn Quickly And Master Any Skill You Want

            10. Learn as Much as You Can

            You should always be on a steep learning curve. Look at your skills profile and determine where you need to fill a gap. Talk to important connections and network in your niche.

            Keep up to date on trends and developments. It is a fact-changing world. When an opportunity arises, you will be the best equipped to seize it because you have never stopped learning. Just another way of working smarter.

            “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” — Mahatma Gandhi

            11. Look After Your Greatest Resource

            No, your greatest resource is not time. It is YOU.

            Advertising

            If you do not get enough sleep, exercise and relaxation, you find that you become less and less productive. You begin to work longer and longer hours, which is the exact opposite of what you want.

            What you should be doing is making sure you are in the best shape. It is useful to remember that you need a break of 15 minutes after every one and a half hours of work.[4]

            Taking breaks and getting fresh air and exercise is one of the best ways of working smarter, not harder.

            12. Don’t Fall into the Trap of Working Smarter and Harder

            As a society, we are obsessed with doing everything smarter so we are more efficient and we save time all around.[5]

            But the most important thing to remember is to accept when we are ready to switch off that computer and not fill up the time with even more work!

            The Bottom Line

            The key to greater productivity is to work smarter, not harder. Working smarter saves precious time and energy for the things that really matter — your life goals, your personal growth, your health and your relationships.

            Stop working for more hours and start working smarter!

            More About Working Smart

            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

            Reference

            Read Next