Efficiency is about working smarter, not harder. It is not about cracking down or becoming stricter. It’s about creating an environment that motivates people to work their hardest and where no information gets lost or modified in transit. Efficiency will go up in your workplace if all of your employees are happy, feel like their work is important and want to do their best. This means the best ways to improve workplace efficiency are connected to increasing their motivation.
Workforce management is about making sure that communication is effective, so that everyone is on the same page and working together. No one thing will make or break this, there are endless little factors that will create a good workplace environment. It’s important to consider all of these and looking at how they apply in your particular work environment.
The following are seven easy ways to improve efficiency in the workplace:
1. Delegate workplace responsibilities
Delegation is key on how to improve workplace efficiency. Giving tasks to employees who are qualified and that you trust will give you the time you need to work on other tasks. By not spending time on something that can be done by someone else your efficiency will increase. It’s also great for employees, as more responsibilities can give them more experience and even increase their sense of purpose and happiness in the workplace. It’s really a win-win solution.
2. Match tasks and skills
Similar to the first point, this is one of the ways to improve efficiency in the workplace. It is important to delegate, but you should also do it wisely. Get to know your employees. Their CV may have already given you a lot of information, but getting to know what their skills, talents and interests are in reality and not just on paper will help you to assign tasks and projects that they can put their best work into. Tasks that fit their skills as well as their interests will increase motivation and bring out their best work. This means more work getting done faster and better.
Incentives are one of the best ways to improve efficiency in the workplace. Give employees something that will motivate them. Remember that different people will prefer different rewards: some appreciate public recognition and others prefer a simple “thank you”. In fact, in our digital world, a simple handwritten thank you note can be particularly meaningful. You can also think of putting in place programs to encourage employees. You could offer them additional paid time off, a meal, etc… Just remember to tailor it to your employees.
4. Flexible work hours
This can include flexibility on start and finish hours. It can also include the possibility of working from home and telecommuting. This may not always be possible. There are meetings that occur at particular times and many other constraints that require that your employees be in the office at a particular time. Still, outside of these, allowing employees to work when they want is highly beneficial.
When given this freedom, people will work when they are at their most productive point. It will also make employees happier and make it so that they are more likely to stick to work-related tasks when they are at work. If they are strapped to their desks from 9 to 5 every day, their motivation levels may go up and down and their attention will often stray to non-work-related tasks. Allowing them to work when they are motivated helps to prevent this.
5. Build a happy workplace environment
About making the office a comfortable place. This means things like lighting that reduces eye strain. Think about how desks are laid out and about providing comfortable desk chairs. Further, instead of just implementing these things in a top-down manner, it is a good idea to poll your employees to see what they think. After all, it is about making it a comfortable environment for them, so you should get to know what will make them comfortable.
6. Effective communication
This can mean improving the routes of communication for delegating tasks and circulating directions throughout the office. It’s also important to not overdo it. Sending out too many emails or too many notifications on social media platforms (or whichever method you use to communicate in your office) can be very time-consuming.
Effective communication is about getting your point across in a timely manner. Consider sending fewer but more to the point e-mails. Also, don’t forget the timeworn old-school method of voice-to-voice communication. Sometimes walking a few feet to tell your colleague or employee what you want is actually much more effective than sending an email or a message.
7. Team bonding
Having activities such as sports days, volunteer days or the occasional yoga session will help your employees to get to know each other. These evets allow employees to bond in a less professional context and this will rub off on their professional interactions. As they get to know each other better they will also work better together. Plus, if these events are healthy activities, it can also help to increase the overall health of your employees. This means fewer sick days and increased performance.