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As a business owner, you want to get the most value out of your employees. After all, one of the biggest expenses a business can incur is labor. However, you won’t get the most out of your employees’ efforts by making them work harder.
Instead, you should help them achieve the best results for your business by helping them work smarter and with the greatest possible ease. This is what improving employee efficiency is all about.
Efficiency is doing things the right way, with minimal waste of time and effort. It is a key ingredient of productivity.
So how do you improve employee efficiency? Here are 10 ways to do this:
1. Set clear goals with your team.
Goals give direction to your team’s efforts. Your employees need to be clear about what’s important so they will know where to focus their attention, time, and energy.
2. Make sure that employees have tasks that match their skills.
Employees tend to be efficient with the tasks they’re good at. Also, they are more motivated when they feel competent enough to do their tasks. Consider their behavioral styles, too. For instance, out-of-the-box thinkers may struggle with rule-intensive tasks, so it’s best to give them assignments that allow them to be creative.
3. Communicate clearly and effectively.
Be sure that your employees clearly understand the details of the tasks assigned to them. Avoid ambiguity and confusion. Also, figure out the best way to communicate. Email isn’t always the best way as it can take up much of your employees’ time. A quick chat on Slack or a Zoom call might be better than hours of back-and-forth emails.
4. Use the latest technology.
Technology can reduce the time and effort it takes to finish a task. It can also allow you to automate tedious, boring tasks that your employees would be happy to be free of. With automation, your team can take on more fulfilling work and spend their time on more important tasks.
5. Apply the Pareto principle.
The Pareto principle is also known as the 80/20 rule. It’s the concept that 80 percent of your results come from 20 percent of your efforts. This idea, when applied to efficiency, suggests that you should determine which activities truly move the needle for your business and focus on those. Ask yourself which of the tasks you assign make the most tangible difference and prioritize those that bring you closer to your goals.
6. Reward efficiency.
Rewards are a positive reinforcement. There’s no better way to encourage your employees to be efficient than to offer incentives for a job well done. You can give bonuses, extra paid time off, company-wide recognition, etc. Keep in mind that your incentives must be generous (your employees must want them), but sensible for your business.
7. Consider allowing your employees to work from home.
This may sound counterintuitive. You might be wondering how an employee can be efficient without being supervised. Also, people tend to think that employees who telecommute get distracted by their concerns at home. However, the reality is far different.
A recent study found that employees who work from home are actually more productive than those who work at the office. That’s because they’re able to maximize the time they have available. For instance, they can still work even if they feel a bit under the weather. Also, they can productively use the time and energy they would have spent on commuting or driving to the office.
8. Give employees the option to work flexible hours.
People have different peak hours. Some are early birds and some work better in the afternoon or in the evening. Allow your employees to work when they’re most efficient and productive. They’re likely to think clearly and do their best work during those hours.
9. Give and get feedback.
Feedback is important for improving efficiency. However, it shouldn’t be a one-way street. You should give feedback to your employees so they will know how they can improve. However, you should also get feedback from them so you’ll know if there are issues that affect their efficiency and how you can best address them.
10. Have effective systems and processes in place.
Effective systems allow your business to run like clockwork. For systems to work smoothly, you need to develop processes that are lean, time-saving, and easy to implement.
Clear and Simple Business helps businesses design, analyze, and improve their processes so they can improve employee efficiency and productivity.
The end results are happy, loyal employees and a bigger bottom line. Want these for your business? Call us now!
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