By: Kevin Gardner
By nature, large enterprises have many interlocking parts and a wide scope, so it's important to find easy ways to increase efficiency without causing confusion. Here are some ways to improve employee efficiency.
1. Constructive Feedback and Training for Employees
Constructive feedback and criticism are important aspects of employee growth and training. If you offer feedback and support to your employees, they will be able to incorporate that feedback into their work and improve over time. Being thoughtful and respectful in your communications with employees, whether you're offering praise and encouragement or correcting a mistake, makes employees more willing to consider and learn from your feedback. Structured training is equally as important as on-the-job feedback.
Employees who go through training for anything from using your company's products to leadership will have a better grasp of your company's services, values and workflows. Simply knowing how your organization and its products or services work can help employees feel more comfortable and confident, which improves efficiency.
2. Streamlined Technology
The more efficient your technology, the smoother your organization's day-to-day operations will be. Review your technology toolbox. Look at what applications and software might be redundant or obsolete. Consider what aspects of operations can be automated or changed to provide employees with assistive technology. Many companies are integrating their various technological tools for one cohesive working experience. When employees have access to a unified work interface, it's easier to learn to use it and work faster and more efficiently. Needing to use various unintegrated technologies slows down both training and daily workflows. Additionally, streamlined cybersecurity options like single sign-on solutions that use SAML assertions help large organizations protect wide swathes of data and applications.
3. Reduced Interruptions in Workflow
It's an unavoidable fact that an employee will experience workflow interruptions sometimes. Sometimes you just can't avoid an urgent phone call or a last-minute meeting. What's important here isn't mandating employees to ignore any distractions, but making sure employees understand that it's okay and even encouraged for them to block out time to be in Do Not Disturb mode. Different organizations have different methods for dealing with workflow interruptions. Sometimes, employees are asked to set time aside in their daily or weekly schedules to turn devices on airplane mode or otherwise ignore communications and focus on work. Other organizations ask managers to work with each employee individually to chart out core duties and ways that help the employee reduce distractions.
4. Streamlined Operations
Finding ways to help boost employee efficiency often includes streamlining operations at all levels of your organization. If you operate warehouses, it might benefit you to look into robotics to help employees more inventory faster and more safely. If you run a software company, utilize workflows and technology that automate repetitive work like record keeping and data entry. Many companies make documentation available for employees to understand how to access the data they need and how data moves through the company. Additionally, more organizations are implementing short daily meetings called scrums, where team members meet for fifteen and quickly update the team on work completed, their plans for the day and projected completion dates for parts of a project. Scrums help teams stay on track without taking too much time away from project work.
While security is important and you should keep in mind that not every employee needs to know everything about your organization, transparency is an important aspect of efficiency. Transparency includes being open with your employees about mistakes, encouraging teamwork and normalizing things like work-life balance and learning from failure. You don't need to talk about every little detail, but being honest with your employees can encourage them to be honest about their needs and mistakes in return. Avoiding these kinds of personnel issues often helps avoid productivity roadblocks.
The most important thing to keep in mind when looking for ways to improve employee efficiency is not to make new procedures or standards confusing or difficult to implement. Strategies that are easy to introduce and teach go a long way toward helping employees feel comfortable being an active part of increasing efficiency.
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