Is your business running at its full potential? For you to gain the highest return on investment possible, you must increase its operational efficiency. Operational efficiency refers to the difference between what you input into running the business and the output you gain from it. Your company can perform in optimum productivity when you bring together the right combination of people, processes and technology to improve your business.
Below are eight of the best tips for increasing operational efficiency while reducing costs for your business.
1. Analyze Your Business
You should constantly review and audit your processes and procedures. Get rid of those that can cause setbacks, and improve the ones that still benefit the business.
Your employees are more likely hands-on, so they know which processes are making their workload easier and faster, and the ones that slow them down. Ask for their suggestions on what they would like to change or improve in their work processes. After implementation, check whether the new strategies are working for them or not.
2. Document Activities
It is important that you document all your business affairs so you can review your business’s history for any development and relay important information to old and new hires.
Create a filing system that makes it easier to find your company’s policies and process improvement reports. Make sure your staff has access to all the documentation they need to carry out their daily tasks. Documenting everything will also come in handy if you have any disagreement with stakeholders.
3. Maintain Consistent Standards
Once you have found the strategies that work best for your company, consistently keep at them. Maintaining a standard procedure keeps everyone on the same page and avoids confusion, which eventually increases production output.
4. Allow Telecommute
Sometimes, the office can be the most distractive place for anyone. There are people all around—on the phone, walking about, chatting—and some employees might find it difficult to produce results in such an environment. True enough, a 16-year Idea Champion study found that 97 percent of employees said they produce creative ideas outside of the workplace.
If an employee’s job does not require them to be in the office, give them an opportunity to work remotely. People can be more productive and effective when they work in their own comfort. A call center study by Nicholas Bloom and James Liang, both Stanford professors, revealed that agents complete 13.5 percent more calls while working from home.
5. Boost Morale with Incentives
Employees can lose morale for a lot of reasons, sometimes something as small as monotony from the repetitiveness of their work. This will significantly decrease their work efficiency, thus lower production output.
Give your employees something to be excited about aside from their bonuses like awarding an all-expenses- paid holiday for top performers, organizing company outings, or performance-based incentive that is beside their yearly bonus. Employees will become more invested and will put more effort in their work when there is a reward at the end. This means more production output and, likely, more profits.
6. Encourage Collaborations
In a survey by Clear Company, 86 percent of employees cited lack of collaboration as a cause of workplace failures. Facilitate interactive teamwork activities amongst employees and departments. Encourage everyone to learn about each other’s job and find a way to make it easier for people to complete tasks that overlap somebody else’s.
7. Improve Internal Communications
One of the greatest causes of delay in production is instruction misunderstanding. HR Magazine found out that 46 percent of employees receive unclear, confusing instructions, and this can happen as often as three times a day. Those who were surveyed estimated that they wasted an average of 40 minutes each day trying to decipher the instructions.
Simplify communication between managers and employees to get work done efficiently. Encourage managers to give directions as clear and direct as possible, and allow employees to ask when they don’t understand.
8. Create a Positive Organizational Culture
The culture of your organization will indirectly affect productivity. If you have a family- like environment that focuses on motivating employees and developing their weaknesses, you’ll have a happy workforce—and happy employees are productive employees.
Boosting your employee’s morale is one great way of building a positive organizational culture. Show them some appreciation and compensate them well for their efforts. Also, ask your staff about their take on company decisions. This will make them feel that their opinions matter and they will be more inclined to give value to the company.
In addition, encourage experienced staff to mentor new hires, and have an internal advancement plan for each employee so they can have an idea of their future in the company. If employees have goals that can move them forward to the next stage, they are likely to work harder to achieve those targets.
Your employees are your best assets, and workers are most productive when they are happy in the workplace. Create a friendly, safe working environment that helps employees complete their tasks efficiently with less difficulty.
Audit, improve and document your latest processes so that employees can have easy access to them and perform them seamlessly. Stir excitement in the workplace, and encourage friendship amongst employees. Allow employees to work where they are most comfortable, be it flexible working hours or a remote location, so you can provide a productive environment that will reap productive results.