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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

          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.

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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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            Last Updated on September 20, 2018

            How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

            How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

            If you’re going to spend 1/3 of our life at work, you should enjoy it, right?

            Trust me, I know that’s easier said than done. Difficult coworkers, less-than-desirable tasks, or even just being in the wrong position can all lead to a lack of enjoyment and fulfillment in your work.

            But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way? Or better yet, if you struggle with all of the above (and then some), what if I told you that enjoying your work and finding fulfillment regardless of those obstacles is possible?

            Don’t believe me? I don’t blame you because I was there too. Before implementing the tips below, I struggled to get through each day, much less find real fulfillment, in the office. Now, even after the toughest days on the job, I still come away with feelings of pride, accomplishment, and fulfillment. The best news is, so can you.

            If you’re ready to make those hours count and find happiness and fulfillment in the office, then read on to find out how to be happy at work and find fulfillment in your career:

            1. Discover the root(s) of the problem

            For this first step, we’ll need to think back to 8th-grade physics (humor me). We all know Newton’s 3rd law, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” When you think about it, the same can be said outside of physics, and we see this law play out in our daily lives, day after day.

            Simply put, all the issues we deal with in the office (and life in general) affect us in a noticeable way.

            If you’re appreciated at work, like the work you do and receive frequent praise, promotions, or raises, then this will probably have an altogether positive effect on your life in the office.

            But what if we reverse this? What if you feel under appreciated, get passed up for promotions, or get denied raises? This is sure to affect the way you feel at work on a negative level.

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            So, before you can implement the steps of feeling happy and fulfilled at work, we first have to discover the reasons why you don’t feel that way already.

            Think about it, write a list, or make a mental note. Run through all the reasons you’re dissatisfied in the office, and don’t hold back. Knowing the exact obstacles you’re facing will make overcoming them that much easier.

            In fact, as a side-challenge to this article, I recommend picking the top three reasons contributing to your dissatisfaction at work and using the following tips to tackle them.

            2. Practice gratitude for an instant uplift

            Did you know the simple act of feeling grateful can increase your happiness and make you more fulfilled at work?[1]

            Well, it’s true, and it’s scientifically proven.

            Dr. Lisa Firestone notes that practicing gratitude “reminds us of what we lacked in the past.” Meaning, it serves as both a boost to happiness and a bit of a wake-up call that things have been or could be, much worse.

            Trying to conjure up feelings of gratitude can seem almost impossible when your work situation seems bleak, but hear me out: There are incredibly easy ways to get started and it doesn’t involve trying to “force” yourself to feel grateful about things that stress you out.

            For an instant pick-me-up, try this:

            Find a loose piece of paper, a blank sticky note, or anything you can write on, be it physical or digital. List just three things that you are absolutely without-a-doubt thankful for in your life.

            Now here’s the trick: Don’t just list what you’re grateful for, you have to list why you’re grateful for them, too.

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            For example, simply saying “I’m grateful for my kids” will probably make you feel good, sure, but what if we could amplify the warm, fuzzy feeling into real, lasting motivation?

            Instead, write the reason you’re so thankful for your children. Is it because they make you laugh and forget about other stressors? Or maybe they help to remind you of why you go to work every day in the first place?

            Whatever your reasons may be, jot them down and keep your list somewhere you can see it while you work. A quick glance at your gratitude list throughout the day can provide powerful, positive motivation to keep going.

            Bonus:

            If you can find just three things to be thankful for that specifically relate to your job, and list why those things make you grateful, your list can also help you find fulfillment in your work itself which can give you an even bigger boost of positivity throughout the day.

            3. Take meaningful time for yourself

            We all know creating a strong work-life balance can be crucial to feeling satisfied in our jobs, but rarely do we ever address how we’re spending our time outside of work.

            Many of us survive a 9-hour work day and commute home only to find ourselves busy with our personal to-do lists, running a household, and taking care of a child (or 2 or 3, and so on).

            If you spend all your time working, whether in the office or within your household, you’re going to feel drained at some point. This is why setting meaningful time for yourself every day is highly important.

            Look, I get it: I don’t know anyone in the working world who can shun all responsibility for a 3-movie marathon or happy hour with friends whenever they feel like it. But finding time for yourself, be it just 30 minutes to an hour, can really make a difference in how you feel at work.

            This works because you’ll have time to actually relax and let the day’s stress melt away while you enjoy something just for you. The to-do lists and stressors will still be there after you’re refreshed and ready to tackle them.

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            No time for me-time? Try this:

            If you have a busy household, you’ll need to capitalize on a block of time you know will be completely uninterrupted. The easiest way to do this: try waking up 30 minutes to an hour earlier than usual (or push bedtime back an hour if you’re a night owl, like me) and take time to do something you enjoy.

            This could be reading with a cup of tea, catching up on Facebook, spending time on a passion project—anything! As long as it’s meaningful to you, it works!

            Bonus:

            Starting your day with meaningful time for yourself can set you up to have a positive mood that lasts well into office hours, and having your me-time in the evening can give you something positive to look forward to during the day.

            4. Get productive and feel accomplished

            Don’t you just love the feeling of checking the last item off of a hefty to-do list? That’s because self-motivation can be a huge driver of positivity and success.

            When we accomplish something, no matter how small, it makes us feel good, plain and simple. Applying this tactic to your daily work can be the motivator you need to find fulfillment during the daily office grind.

            While there are tons of steps to get more done at work, I’ll share my personal favorite: Prioritizing.

            Now, many people handle prioritizing differently. Some like to tackle the little tasks first so they can spend focused time on the big to-dos. Others like to knock out the big items first and get to the smaller ones when they can.

            No matter which camp you’re in, you may be missing one crucial step: Time management.

            So how’s this work? When you factor in the amount of time your priorities will take, it can transform your productivity ten-fold.

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            Say you have three top priorities for the day. You might jump into the smaller ones or the bigger ones depending on your preferred method, and then find yourself out of time and bringing work home with you at the end of the day.

            This is prevented when you factor in time. Knowing how long each item will take, or deliberately setting specific blocks of time for your priorities can help you accomplish more in the same 8-9 (or 12) hours that you typically spend at work.

            Try this:

            Take a look at your priorities and consider how long they should take. Pop into your Google calendar (or Filofax, whatever works for you) and schedule time to work on your priority items around any important meetings or events of the day.

            The most important thing to remember is to stick to your dedicated time.

            Often, when we know exactly how long we have to work on something (and honor this time limit), we’re motivated to get more done on time to avoid taking work home at the end of the day.

            The bottom line

            There’s no need to waste 1/3 of our lives feeling unsatisfied at work. Luckily, you now have the tools to get started, take back your time, and become happy and fulfilled at work again.

            The only question is — which tip will you try first?

            Featured photo credit: Ellyot via unsplash.com

            Reference

            [1]Psychology Today: The Healing Power of Gratitude

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