Changes such as technology updates, innovations, availability of resources, market disruption or any global event pose a greater threat to the continuity of operations.
On the face of these changes, keeping operations up and running while meeting the expected productivity and efficiency levels is hard. Usually, productivity and efficiency levels are set metrics which must be met by operations managers across departments.
While every department has its own KPIs, the accomplishments of one will affect the other. By streamlining operations, organizations can improve their processes and empower employees to achieve their objectives.
Here are 5 ways you can streamline operations to boost productivity and efficiency
1. Use automation to improve workflows
Messy workflows keep employees busy but not productive. Streamlining operations will help businesses remove redundant, repetitive tasks.
Leveraging automation in order to do this puts business processes on “autopilot”, allowing employees to focus on their core jobs instead of spending time on manual, time-consuming tasks.
According to Wrike’s Operational Excellence Report, nearly 70% of workers have accepted that 40% of their time is spent on routine tasks.
Routine tasks are the number one efficiency drainer but automation enables employees to spend their time on impactful and meaningful tasks that add more value to the business. And as employees have more time to hand, process leaders can channel their resources in more profitable directions.
2. Create transparency to develop accountability
With clarity comes accountability. Employees at different hierarchical levels will be able to see who is working on what and assess their own role and contribution to the task.
This is only possible if every part of the process is well-connected with each other and businesses will need to rely on digital tools to connect the dots.
Here are three ways through which digital tools can connect the dots and provide greater accountability as a result:
- Manual processes are error-prone. When information is recorded digitally, it reduces the chance of duplicates while enabling the tracking and monitoring of tasks performed.
- Assigning responsibility becomes much easier. Most of these technologies facilitate role-based access to information. It means everyone in the team is aware of their KPIs and responsibilities that they must fulfil to achieve organizational goals.
- Digital tools provide visibility. Team members can see the existing status of the task, plan their day around this and channel the right resources to complete the jobs. Project managers and leadership teams can also make evidence-based decisions associated with compensation, rewards and recognition programs based on the data collected from the tools.
While digital tools are key for better transparency and accountability within a streamlined operations, they only work with the right people and strategies in place. Businesses need to ensure their processes are accurately aligned.
Alignments not only helps in creating a smoother workflow but also increases transparency. Then, you can effectively track and monitor performance, identify gaps, and make the right decisions to increase productivity and efficiency levels.
3. Encourage effective collaboration to boost efficiency
Running operations requires teamwork, which involves how teams are formed, managed, and communicate with each other. And this requires organizations to form a robust collaboration framework.
Collaboration drives employees to focus on larger objectives and not just their own individual performances. It can also boost employee morale, making them willing to go above and beyond to achieve productivity metrics.
Encouraging collaboration within the organization also promotes a strong informal network of information within the teams. This network allows the exchange of information at a quicker pace, which helps to complete tasks on time, improve efficiency and foster innovation.
4. Gather the right data for better decision-making
How do you measure productivity in your organization?
How do you determine the efficiency of each employee?
Are you measuring the right things?
These are some key questions that can only be answered with the right information. Well-designed workflows will improve the accuracy of available data and thus improve decision-making in the business.
The digital tools you use to automate workflows will put more accurate and refined data into the hands of team leaders. As a result, team leaders will be able to look into the data sets to determine the strengths and shortcomings of individual team members and processes. Based on these insights, they can create more effective strategies and training programs to boost productivity and efficiency levels.
5. Improve employee satisfaction with recognition and rewards
Employees work at their best when they feel appreciated, when they’re challenged at work, when their efforts are recognized and when they’re well-compensated for their efforts.
In a survey conducted by Conversica, 97% of employees said they’re more efficient when they’re engaged in new and challenging tasks.
When it comes to streamlining operations, business leaders can use this information to build a work environment that rewards, recognizes, and compensates employees based on performance to motivate them and ensure they feel challenged in their role.
Efficiency requires strong planning and organizational skills. There’s no place for loose ends in the process, and in order to do that, leadership teams need to make the most of digital tools and technologies to streamline their operations.