Every organization wants productive, solution-driven employees on its team. Without them, you may notice a lag in workplace efficiency and a decline in the quality of your products and services. Well where are they, these effective, efficient team members? They are right there under your nose, in your organization. To empower your employees, you must provide them with the resources they need to perform and grow your business.
Tips for greater workplace efficiency
1. Provide helpful technology
To remain competitive in an increasingly competitive business environment you must invest in employee resources—whether it's buying a new laptop so they can work remotely when life demands it, or adopting a collaboration tool, such as Skype for Business. Ultimately, the end goal is to enhance the ways your employees perform, so you can improve workplace efficiency business-wide. Office 365 for Business as a whole is a powerful tool for collaborating, regardless of your location or the device on which your team is operating. And with the ability to store all of your files in one place, you can share important information not only with your team members, but also with people outside of your company.
2. Motivate through gamification
As we have mentioned before, there are certain ways you can up the fun factor in your organization by taking the theories behind gamification in the workplace and putting them to use. In fact, "[w]hen designed correctly, gamification has proven to be very successful in engaging people and motivating them to change behaviors, develop skills or solve problems," writes Brian Burke in a contribution to Forbes. This form of motivation may be especially appealing for members of Generations X and Y who grew up playing video games. If you're implementing new software, for example, and you're concerned that the new system may derail efficiency as your employees get up to speed, this is where gamification can come in handy. To help your employees familiarize themselves with the new software, have them complete a few straightforward tasks or missions to become more knowledgeable of how the system works in the front- and the back-end.
3. Improve the lines of communication
"Companies can harness the power of communication to enhance productivity by simply providing workers with the right tools," writes Bonnie Conrad of Demand Media in a contribution Chron. "Adding a work-friendly instant messaging program allows employees to communicate with one another without wasting time with desk visits and missed connections." A perfect example of this type of platform is one we mentioned above, Skype for Business. If your team uses Office, for example, Skype for Business can boost your employees' productivity, without ever leaving the Office platform.
4. Develop helpful processes
The human brain is limited and fallible, even for the best of us. Alfred North Whitehead, a famous mathematician and philosopher wrote: “It is a profoundly erroneous truism that we should cultivate the habit of thinking of what we are doing. The precise opposite is the case. Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking about them.” Do your employees a favor by proceduralizing workflows that have multiple steps. Use checklists or tracking software so that these tasks become cognitively effortless, freeing up brain power for other important work.
5. Provide opportunities for skills development
Skill development is essential, especially if your business is growing and you want to keep it that way. By addressing your employees' goals, and providing them with the tools and opportunities to grow, you're contributing to not only employee satisfaction, but also increased business skills. With this comes more opportunity to take on new responsibilities, as your employees will have the knowledge and ability to contribute to your organization's competitive advantage. If you're looking to adopt training methods, consider virtual training, coaching and/or classroom training to increase employee productivity and boost your bottom line.