Improving business efficiency

By JOHNNY CARCIOPPOLO / Community Columnist

Most of us know that efficiency is directly related to profits. Businesses that find a way to create a productive environment not only enjoy a healthier bottom line, but also happier employees.

Here are eight simple tips to get you started with boosting business efficiency.

  1. Automate tasks. Not every task can or should be automated, but many repetitive tasks can be set to occur when triggered by an event. This frees up time so employees can focus on more productive things.
  2. Talk face-to-face. Emails are an essential business tool, but communicating this way within an office can be the cause of wasted time and miscommunications. If employees work in the same office, encourage them to talk with one another. If employees work remotely, encourage the use of instant messaging so conversations can happen in real-time as opposed to spending the afternoon waiting for email responses.
  3. Limit interruptions. Having meetings spread out throughout the day and week can make it challenging for employees to complete tasks. By stopping mid-task, employees will spend time reassessing where they left off and are more likely to miss important details.
  4. Hold a 10-minute meeting daily. Whether it works best first thing in the morning or at the end of the day, a short “touch base” style team meeting each day promotes a collaborative atmosphere.
  5. Promote single-tasking. Multi-tasking may feel more productive, but the truth is that it makes it harder to bring a task to completion. By focusing on completing a single task before moving onto the next, employees will inevitably have a higher rate of completion.
  6. Discourage “got a minute” meetings. The “got a minute” meeting is one that never actually takes a minute. Encourage your employees to schedule a specific timeframe to discuss a project, when they can have a targeted, on-topic conversation that is more productive.
  7. Follow the process. When things get rushed through the normal process, something usually goes wrong. You have developed your processes for a reason. Make it a rule that your employees stick to the processes.
  8. Promote open communication. A culture of open communication is more than one that allows employees to talk about how they feel towards the company. More importantly, they should be able to voice their ideas, feedback and concerns on projects, processes and concepts within their department and between departments.