How well a company runs relates directly back to the upper management of the firm. The leaders in a company set the tone for the rest of the staff. Without strong leadership and efficient management, your company may not hit the high notes you want.
Then COVID-19 pandemic changed the way companies work, and many are still trying to get their footing. In a study by Gartner, researchers found approximately 82% of surveyed company leaders plan to allow continued remote work at least part-time.
With changes in the way people work and how offices function, efficiency needs an overhaul. One of the biggest concerns of company leaders is how to monitor remote workers and ensure they aren’t goofing off. Fortunately, studies show most remote workers are more productive.
Whether your entire staff is remote, you have a hybrid approach or everyone works in the same office setting, there are some things the management team can do to encourage efficiency and improved processes.
Does your management team set the example of finishing projects on time and creating checklists of items? If your leaders are disorganized and inefficient, your staff has no one to model themselves after but the poor examples presented to them.
The management team must make efficiency a priority for themselves before they demand it from their employees.
Within every organization, there are repetitive tasks that take up time. Identify the things you can farm out to machines, such as responding to the same question via email over and over. Utilizing software as a service (SaaS) can save you massive amounts of time and push everyone in the company to use their minutes on more productive tasks.
One study shows clearly how utilizing SaaS saves 12 to 16% in administrative time. When you add up all the minutes recovered by utilizing machines for some of your grunt work, you can easily see how much more efficiently the entire company runs with automation.
Your management team needs to be upfront and honest about the reason you do things the way you do. If your goal is increased efficiency, dig down into the reasons why the company must perform better.
If your goal is company-wide growth, explain how it benefits everyone. Excellent leaders gain the trust of their workers, so everyone is on the same page working toward the same objectives.
Seek out leaders and employees who are ready to innovate and make changes to reach goals. When recruiting new staff, make sure you diversify your teams. A group made up of people of different backgrounds and ages means you have input from different viewpoints.
One person may look at a process and see a more efficient method while a different one is better at implementing the new idea. The more diversity you have in your management and workers, the more fresh ideas will drive your productivity.
The most recent United States Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows an annual turnover rate of approximately 57.3% across industries. High employee churn leads to lower efficiency as you lose experienced workers and must recruit and retrain new ones.
If you seek ways to put your staff first and consider their well-being and needs, you’re much less likely to lose them to competitors and thus lose your momentum on projects.
Pay them as much as you can afford. Tell them you appreciate their hard work and recognize it with awards and accolades. Develop a company culture that puts your staff first. How can you improve their work life? What perks do you offer that larger corporations don’t?
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, most companies weren’t quite ready to go fully remote. Many were forced into the task, but quickly found it increased productivity and forced efficiency through the use of technology such as project management software and video meetings.
Which jobs can be done from home and perhaps done better? Task your managers with solutions to ensure workers complete their tasks but are also trusted to get the work done.
If someone performs consistently and at high levels, don’t look over the shoulder the entire time. On the other hand, you must have a few standards to ensure no one takes advantage of the inherent freedoms that come with working from home.
When people know what their roles are in your organization, it makes it easier for them to excel at their jobs. Spend time writing out responsibilities and chatting with each department. Do the people feel they are able to fully focus on the task at hand or are there other things creeping in unrelated to their job description?
For example, a marketing guru who sits next to the office copier may find much of their day is taken up answering questions about how the copier works. A simple solution is to move the person’s desk or shift the copier to another space, perhaps near the office administrative pool.
The more comfortable your employees feel coming to management, the more likely they are to let you know when something isn’t working. They do the work daily and know what works well and what isn’t efficient.
Have an open office policy where they can come in and talk to you about any ideas they have. Listen to everyone and implement the ones making the most sense, giving credit to the person whose idea it was.
With open dialogue, you’ll gain far more efficiency and productivity than you ever would trying to figure it out on your own. Involve everyone and watch your processes improve overnight.
Author Bio: Eleanor Hecks is the editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She’s also a freelance web designer with a focus on user experience. Eleanor lives in Philly with her husband and dog, Bear