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How to improve workplace efficiency

Posted on 04-15-15 in Cognition, Mindfulness

How to improve workplace efficiency

The latest Gallup poll released just this month and reveals only 35 percent of managers in the U.S. are engaged in their jobs. This trails an even more astonishing statistic from the prior workplace poll; which tallied employee engagement on the job worldwide, at barely 13 percent. Every business, no matter the size or industry, can benefit from improved workplace efficiency. By utilizing the appropriate methods, a company can adapt to find the means to improve engagement and efficient practices. Maybe there is an aspect to the hierarchy that has become unnecessary or ineffective, or a habit which has unintentionally drained morale. Whatever the case may be, utilizing a number of commonly used tips can aid a business in becoming more streamlined and successful.

Methods of improvement

One method that has shown to be a powerful incentive for employees is being appropriately acknowledged and rewarded for work. This can happen a in a number of different ways. For instance, it can prove to be a morale builder to have occasional team events which promote togetherness. This can be as simple as going out for a game, bowling or ordering a pizza together at a favorite nearby restaurant. Perhaps a contest can be held to reward hard-working employees, such as those producing the highest volume of quality work. This can be in the form of a simple gift card, or a pass to a local movie theater.

Another concept that can prove helpful is rotating work which needs to be completed regularly amongst different co workers. This allows each person the chance to work on a project at a different time and lessen monotony overall, while giving everyone a better overview view of operations. There are also advantages to using technology to ease communication and provide levity between daily tasks; especially in cases where employees are not always working in the same area. Having an instant messaging system such as Skype or msn messenger can prove helpful.

Though many organizations already have regular meetings, workplace fellowship and face-to-face dialogue and delegation cannot be underestimated. Nuances, body language and tone cannot be equally perceived via written communication. Following up individually as well is also a means of ensuring that expectations are mutually understood. Changes in operations that only affect specific employees should be clearly indicated as such.

Yet it should also be mentioned that having too many meetings can conversely decrease productivity. Meetings should serve an essential purpose, such as outlining goals for the week. If there is a meeting that is not critical for each co-worker to attend, then they should use the time to continue working instead. Those that are leading a team can have their own individual meetings to determine how work should be delegated.

Oftentimes, business growth can lead to a larger workspace or a restructuring of existing space. At this time, it will be important to consider the departments that often work closely together. Having logical rhyme and reason to this will prevent miscommunication and ease contact for those who often collaborate. It can also help to encourage employees to take short breaks during the day to assist in refreshing a person and promoting productivity.

Some perform best by having information presented visually to them and it could be wise to disseminate information in the way others can retain it. A workflow chart could better illustrate who is taking on certain work responsibilities and what each job description is. New employees who have questions can refer to this to help them with questions that they may have. Of course, asking questions for clarity should always be encouraged.

Common sense dictates there will be specific considerations for employees who are working remotely. These individuals should be made to feel part of the team at all times and their contributions properly acknowledged. There should also be effective communication between leaders and upper management to ensure long term goals are being met in steady phases; so as not to overwhelm an individual or team close to deadline. The information technology — or IT department — should be properly staffed and acknowledged often as well; to ensure quality and volume of maintenance and resolution of matters, are steadily addressed.

Unfortunately, there can be circumstances where employment is terminated and a person loses his or her job. However, the understanding of workplace expectations should be clear from the beginning to prevent misunderstanding. Levels of accountability should be equal in all cases so there is no possibility of anyone claiming unfairness. Extreme scenarios, such as workplace harassment or discrimination, should never be tolerated and will hamper productivity as well.

By following such forms of advice, any organization can see great improvement in overall structure and attaining goals. Part of human nature includes the desire to feel appreciated. This is no different in the work setting. Gary Chapman and Paul White’s adaptation, “The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People” is a refreshing approach to praising employees. From managers to entry-level employees, if a person feels appreciated, the odds of engagement and high work ethic are without limit.

Written by Ryan McMaster, Sovereign Health Group Writer