Seven Great Ways to Improve Efficiency in the Workplace
Joey McDowell is an experienced writer and editor originally from the Dallas area. A firm believer in a well-balanced lifestyle, Joey applies this forward-thinking approach as the editor-in-chief of The Idea Trader. He travels extensively to find compelling stories and insightful individuals.
We define efficiency as the ratio of input power to output power. Do you understand key ways to improve efficiency in the workplace?
If you don’t put a lot of effort in your organization but your productivity is high, then your organization is highly efficient. Inputs include manpower, technology, finances, time, tools, etc.
In this article, we will discuss seven ways to improve efficiency in the workplace. We lay more emphasis on the human workforce because happy people perform better. Let’s get started.
Job Profiling - Match the Right Skills to the Right Duties
Just because an employee can accomplish a task does not necessarily mean they are the right match for such duties. One of the ways to improve efficiency in the workplace is to ensure the assignment distribution reflects the employee’s skill set.
In addition, consider their level of professional qualification and job experience.
Additionally, the employee’s inherent skills such as his or her ability to listen, take instructions, stay focused on the job, or manage a team optimally should complement their acquired professional skills. They must find satisfaction in the assigned tasks.
Assign customer care tasks to inherently empathic employees.
On the other hand, sales duties are better executed by employees with a go-getter attitude.
Failure to match skills to the tasks at hand is often the reason why employees feel they are in the wrong profession. When this happens, efficiency in the workplace deteriorates. Use annual performance evaluation reports and team building sessions to achieve the correct job profiling.
Invest in the Right Technology and Tools
Are you still dusting off your old Gateway computers? Well it's the future now and employers need to make deliberate efforts to provide all the employees with the right tools and equipment for executing their tasks effectively.
It can be frustrating when an employee has to delay service to a client because one of the necessary processing machines are out of order or have yet to arrive at the office.
Ensure you carry out regular maintenance to keep such tools in excellent shape at all times.
Similarly, stop using outdated technology. From simple computer software to mailing platforms and even business process management software, keep up with the current trends.
Ensure you also update your systems and software regularly. Finally, offer on-the-job training for your employees to effectively use sophisticated tools.
You can also make sure that employees have the tools they need to keep their workspaces organized.
Keep abreast of the changing working conditions in your market niche by investing in constant employee training. These training sessions polish up your employee’s skills and keep them relevant to the current challenges.
Don’t forget to incorporate this continuous training in the orientation programs for all new employees.
Instill a Culture of Autonomy Amongst Employees
When using an autonomic approach, employers allow for a flow of innovative ideas that yield unique problem-solving techniques. As much as possible, let your employees have independence in executing their tasks. Let them set their work schedules and targets.
Similarly, to save on the time spent per task, employers can help by delegating their less sensitive duties. In turn, the employer matches these set goals with lucrative incentives that encourage performance. This level of freedom to employees produces job satisfaction which in turn improves efficiency in the workplace.
However, avoid excessive micro-managing of employees. This limits the team leader’s ability to think and solve issues strategically. Micro-managers are too involved in the fine details of the tasks that they rarely have the time to see the bigger picture and offer the leadership needed.
How well do your policymakers communicate with the task implementers? A clear channel of communication instills confidence and comfort in employees when they are executing their duties.
Effective can be in the form of brainstorming sessions where superiors explain the tasks at hand. Here, the employers anticipate and address potential areas of misunderstandings.
Other effective communication strategies are via staff debriefings whereby, employees give an account of what they have accomplished so far and how they plan to perform their remaining tasks. Such sessions minimize duplication of work and unhealthy competition amongst employees.
One of the ways to improve efficiency in the workplace is by using employee reward systems to acknowledge excellent performance. Such programs recognize the hard work the employees are doing. These include:
- Giving bonus pay
- Rewarding gift vouchers and cash rewards
- Giving a thank you note as a show of gratitude for a job well done
- Allocating paid family vacations
- Issuing certificates of recognition
In turn, you motivate the employees to be innovative, offer excellent customer service, and exceed the expectations of their employers. Employers should choose a performance recognition strategy that is acceptable and adds value to the employee it targets.
Reevaluate Your Employees' Duties
A key way to improve efficiency in the workplace is by occasionally reevaluating the current job procedures with a view of removing any obsolete functions, loopholes, and dead ends.
These are unnecessary challenges that tend to consume time and reduce employees’ ability to perform optimally.
For example, an employer may decide to automate approval procedures that currently involve signing a lot of paperwork, especially where the signatories are in offices or regions spread far apart.
By putting the right checks and balances in place, employees can get the approval they seek in time and proceed with their next duties.
Other ways of improving efficiency in the workplace are by removing bureaucratic procedures found in the various organizational hierarchies. This approach applies mostly to where the organization has very complex structures.
Implementing new ways to improve efficiency in the workplace doesn’t have to be costly or too hard to understand. It starts right from the time a new employee joins the organization.
The employer must be proactive in putting systems in place that match the right tasks to the staff with the relevant skills.
It also involves equipping this selected employee with the right tools for work, communicating the roles in a clear and compelling way, instilling a culture of independence, and recognizing exemplary performance.
Only then can one significantly improve efficiency in the workplace.