The modern world is becoming more and more fast-paced by the minute. With this constantly changing landscape, are you sure your company is keeping up? Are your employees equipped to adapt to all the changes? Is your workflow streamlined enough? If you answered yes to all these questions, congratulations. But if there’s a sliver of doubt in your mind, it may be worth going through these impactful ways to improve the work you do.
Borrowing from the scientific method, the first thing to do is to identify the problem. The way to do it is by looking closely at your current work process. There is always something to improve and your task is to pinpoint which parts they are. Make a step-by-step list of the processes you have and inspect each step thoroughly.
Make sure you detail the whole process so the next time around you’ll have a baseline to make this step easier.
After you’ve detailed your workflow, identify which parts can be automated for maximum efficiency. There are a lot of resources on and offline to help you in various aspects of your work. According to Forbes, tasks that are time-sensitive, resource-intensive, and prone to human error should be the first ones evaluated for automation. Repetitive tasks should also be automated. Automation will save you time and money and help you avoid human error.
Understanding your people means there should be clear lines of communication in place. Check whether your people have access to channels that allow them to freely express themselves to whichever part of the organization they may need to. These channels may come in the form of emails, chat groups, or regular meetings. Conducting surveys is also another great way to hear what your employees have to say. Ask questions about the workflow (while you’re doing the Evaluate step above), the office facilities and equipment, the people they work with, and other things that may affect their own productivity. It may also be worth establishing channels that provide anonymity for more sensitive subject matters.
Another way of understanding your people is to study their demographics. According to Inc.com, Millennials are set to make up half of the American workforce by 2020. This means workplaces will be more tech-savvy and connected. You can also choose to employ people analytics platforms to help you get a good grasp of who your people are and how they can work their best.
Once you get a better understanding of your people, the next step is to make sure they are well-equipped to do their work and that they are in a good place to keep up if changes should take place, especially after because you’re about to improve your workflow as well. Empowering your employees means giving them the tools and ample room to grow. This means they may have to undergo additional training courses. Support their progress.
Calibration is another way of empowering your people. It will benefit everyone if they know they are all on the same page. Employees should also always understand the impact of what they do individually to improve accountability and morale.
As mentioned above, clear lines of open communication is also empowering for employees.
Improving your work can be tedious, but when successful, every second you spend doing it will save you more time and productivity down the road. Having a streamlined work process will also improve employee engagement and retention. Make sure to always evaluate your work, automate when you can, and understand and empower your people.