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 11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities 2 How to Become an Entrepreneur (Advice from a Serial Entrepreneur) 3 The Lifehack Show Episode 7: Following Your Calling 4 Is People Management the Right Career Path for You? 5 10 Ways to Build Positive And Effective Work Relationships

            Read Next

            Advertising
            Advertising
            Advertising

            Last Updated on September 18, 2019

            11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

            11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

            Are you looking to move up the career ladder? Or maybe you’re tired of having a “job” and want to start looking for a more permanent career?

            Whatever your motivation, you are going to have to learn some new and different hard skills to broaden your opportunities. After all, there’s a very famous quote that says:

            “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

            While the insanity part doesn’t really fit here, the overall message is a good one. If you are looking for a different result (career advancement, more money or even a career instead of a job), it’s up to you to make it happen. This is both the good news and bad news!

            The good news is that because it’s up to you, you have complete control over it happening. The bad news is that change is hard. Humans are creatures of habit, that’s why we develop routines, and anything that disrupts that routine causes us anxiety. And we will do almost anything to get rid of that anxiety. The overweight person will calm their anxiety by eating that doughnut, the smoker will light up a cigarette to avoid anxiety.

            What we want to do with this article is to give you the hard skills you’ll need to reduce that anxiety so you can move up that corporate ladder, make more money or have career instead of just a “job.”

            The following hard skills are essential to learn if you want to advance your career. They may not be easy to take up, but definitely worth your effort of learning:

            1. Cloud Computing

            “Simply put, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, intelligence and more—over the Internet “the cloud” to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale. You typically pay only for cloud services you use, helping lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently, and scale as your business needs change.” Microsoft[1]

            There are many different jobs available in the cloud computing world today. They range from architects and developers to data scientists, security pros. Each job is its own specialty and requires a high level of specification for advancement.

            This is definitely a hard skill that requires education. But if the tech world and computers are your thing you can make cloud computing a lucrative career.

            Advertising

            2. Data Mining and Statistical Analysis

            Again, these are highly specialized fields. Data mining is defined as using large sets of data to look for anomalies and other patterns that can be used to predict future behavior.

            Amazon is probably the best known company to use data mining. Have you ever noticed that when you buy something at Amazon, you’ll see a little ad at the bottom that says “customers who bought this also bought…”and it lists 2-3 other items? All of that information comes from data mining, by examining the millions of sales amazon makes they can predict that if you buy item #1 there is a high likelihood that you will buy one of the other items too. T

            his not only increases sales for Amazon, but it also serves as a reminder for you that you may need these additional items for your project. This is very valuable information and has a wide range of uses. Although it has a bad reputation and evil sounding name, it is a very useful tool for maximizing productivity and sales.

            3. Data Management

            All companies today deal with a ton of data! Being able to manage that data in an efficient manor is not only highly prized, but a necessity.

            We all have these things on our desks called computers. Unless there is a need for a paper copy, almost all of our data is computerized. Meaning that, in theory it is all at our fingertips. Being able to organize that data so that it’s easily and quickly retrievable is why computers are replacing filing cabinets!

            However, just like the old fashion filing cabinet, data management on a computer is only good if it’s well organized. You want to make sure that you are keeping your data well organized so that it’s easy to find when needed. This is a skill that comes easily to some people (are you a person that makes lists? Good!) but with others it will be a skill that needs to be practices. Make sure that this is a discipline you master.

            4. Scheduling

            Being able to make and keep to a schedule is a very useful tool in both business and life. Effective scheduling means that you can prioritize projects, understand the tools needed to get the job done on time and that you are organized enough to lead people.

            An important point here is to write things down! Whether it’s in an old fashion daily or weekly organizer or in a PDA. Have a copy of your schedule available at your fingertips at all times.

            5. Financial Skills

            These are especially important when looking for that promotion. The higher up the ladder you go, the more you’ll have to deal with things like accounting, budgeting, financial planning and cash flow management.

            While you may not need to be an expert at all of these, you should have a good grasp of all of them. This is where taking a few night classes at your local community college is a good idea. You don’t need to become an expert, but brushing up on these skills will help you tremendously.

            Advertising

            6. Research Skills

            These are important in all aspects of life, but especially in your work-life.

            Are you looking for that first job out of school? Nothing impresses a boss or hiring manager more than someone who has researched the company. Trust me, they deal with people walking in off the street everyday looking for a job, but managers and owners need to see the value in hiring (or promoting) you.

            So do your research and have some company specific questions ready to ask. Show that you are interested in working for that company or that position and not just “a” job or the “promotion” because you have seniority or need the money.

            If it’s a promotion that you are after, never bad mouth the previous occupant. Instead pick out an example that he/she was good at and explain how you would like to use or expand that policy and how it would enhance the policy changes you’d like to make.

            If it’s a new job you’re going for, then make sure to have some company specific questions ready to show that you have done your homework for the new position.

            7. Marketing Skills

            While marketing a companies products or services has always been a highly sought after skill. In today’s world, it can take on several different forms.

            Some of the marketing skills that are highly sought after today include, SEO, Search Engine Optimization, SEM, Search Engine Marketing and marketing campaign management. Familiarity with Google Analytics as well as Word Press are also valuable.

            While traditional marketing and branding were focused on advertising and selling. Almost all marketing efforts now a days are focused on the internet.

            8. Network Security Specialist

            Again, this is a highly skilled position that requires specialized training. But the amount of data that all companies store is significant, and if that data is leaked or stolen, it can costs them millions of dollars in both lost revenue and lawsuits.

            So, if you have an interest in network security you will find the field both lucrative and stable.

            Advertising

            9. Communication Skills

            At first glance, communication skills may not look like it fits into the category of “Hard Skills” that can help you succeed. But in this ever shrinking world where companies can do business from almost anywhere, communication is more and more important.

            Are you bilingual? It really doesn’t matter what language you speak, there’s a company out there looking for someone who speaks that language.

            10. Computer Programming

            I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that computers are going to be around for a while! As both the hardware and software get more advanced, the need for computer programming is only going to increase.

            11. Graphic Design

            As of 2018, there were 4.37 million new websites launched.[2] A good number of them will fail because they just aren’t interesting enough visually. The use of templates and replicated websites is only making the problem worse.

            Part of the way Google ranks sites is through originality, this almost ensures that replicated sites will never get ranked through Google. So the more original your site is, the more likely people will visit and actually spend time there.

            That is what a good graphic designer does. Takes your basic idea and turns it into a website that people actually want to visit.

            Embrace the Anxiety That Comes with Change

            You know it’s going to be there, you know that you’ll want to give up as you’re learning these new skills but, you’ll also know that the end result is worth the journey.

            Here’s a little trick when you’re feeling overwhelmed:

            Have you ever met an ex-smoker who was sorry they quit? An ex-drinker or drug user that said life was much better before they quit? These people have gone through some of the most difficult challenges humans can go through including weeks, if not, months of intense physical withdrawal symptoms. They did it because they knew that the pain and anxiety they would experience would ultimately get them to a much better life.

            Now what was that complaint you had about attending night-school?

            Advertising

            This is the part everyone hates, everyone thinks night-school, adult education and just generally giving up family and/or spare time. While those are certainly possible ways to develop the necessary skills, they aren’t the only way.

            You’ll want to check with your human resources department because depending on the company, a certain degree maybe required in order to even be considered for a position. In those cases, night-school, on-line or some other form of adult education maybe your best route.

            But as long as a degree isn’t required, then your options are wide open.

            Let’s just say that you’re a sales person interested in becoming the sales manager but, the territory you’ve been given will never produce the sales figures that would make you stand out as a good candidate for sales manager. So how about you start your own side business (don’t compete with your company), but let’s say you enjoy golf.

            In this day and age, there are plenty of places that will teach you how to sell products on-line and even set you up with your own website. So you start a site selling golf equipment and accessories (don’t worry, you won’t even have to carry inventory or worry about shipping).

            Now, when that sales manager spot opens up, you can explain that even though other salespeople had better numbers than you, it had nothing to do with your sales ability, it was more of a consequence of the territory your were given.

            And to prove it, you brought in some information about a side business, you started showing that you’re on target for a sales growth rate of 30% this year. And because you had to do all of the marketing for the business, you came up with some marketing strategies that you can bring to the new job (built-in experience).

            The Bottom Line

            We’ve put together these 11 hard skills as a way to give yourself a “leg up” on the competition. We’ve tried to make this a mixture of both skills that require a great deal of training, and also ones that you can work on and develop by yourself.

            We know that not everyone is cut out to be a cloud computing expert, but we also know that working on and having good scheduling skills will make you a much more desirable candidate for the position!

            We also don’t want you to discount the idea of a “side hustle“. Especially for people new to the workforce, having a business that you have started and run successfully shows potential employers that you have initiative, scheduling skills and ambition which can put you well ahead of your competition!

            As usual, we hope you found this article both enjoyable and informative. If you did, may we ask that you share it with your family and friends through social media. It really does help us and is greatly appreciated!

            More Skill to Help Advance Your Career

            Featured photo credit: Kyle Sterk via unsplash.com

            Reference

            [1] Microsoft Azure: Cloud Computing
            [2] Netcraft: December 2018 Web Server Survey

            Read Next