When you look at the numbers, you will find that a lot of time at work is wasted on unnecessary or personal tasks.
This time wasted contributes to poor productivity and inefficient workflows.
While it can be challenging to cut wasted time, you can take the necessary steps to improve workflow efficiency.
Here are nine tips to help you do exactly that.
Business processes are usually the main reason for workflow inefficiencies.
Before you start looking at other areas, you should analyze the processes you already have in place.
The reason for doing this is so that you learn what is working and what is not in the current workflows you have established.
You can then take the time to rectify everything you find.
Making it easier for everyone to work with each other can improve workflows immensely.
When you do this, people can share ideas as well as know who is supposed to be working on what at any given time.
Additionally, people can flex their creativity if they know they have the backing of other team members.
Collaboration is one area where different tools can help. Using a flowchart online tool can help teams to simplify their workflows and daily routines in real time, for example.
This can be especially ideal for projects that have numerous steps that must be finalized before a project can be classed as complete.
Although all work is important, there are some tasks and projects that are more important than others.
You should rank all of them based on their importance in line with your goals.
Doing so will require you to break down all projects to find out which of the necessary tasks you need to prioritize.
The idea is to schedule each of these tasks according to their importance, and then use the right tools to track their projects and who is working on what.
Automation has become easier as technology and the respective tools have improved and become ubiquitous in the workplace.
Apps, tools, and software all have the potential to save a lot of time which employees can use to work on priority tasks.
Some of the tasks that can be automated include replenishing supplies, signing documents, collecting user data reporting, reminders, and paying bills.
Communication is crucial because it can make things easier or harder. Poor communication can also lead to a lot of time wasted.
Misunderstanding around who is responsible for completing a certain task, what is required to do so, and how long it should take can lead to a lot of time wasted.
Project management software can come in handy here as they allow you to not only communicate effectively but also manage resources, track tasks, know who is responsible for what, and help you keep costs manageable.
All businesses must ensure there are proper training processes in place. Proper training leads to efficient employees.
To ensure all employees are trained, it is important to have a training schedule in place.
Once this is done, managers should look at their employees’ skills and capabilities to find out what training they need.
Every employee is different and so what they need training for will vary too.
Ensuring all employees are properly trained is just the beginning of optimizing workflows and improving workflow efficiencies.
Many people struggle to get back to what they were doing if they are interrupted.
This mainly applies to creative people who lose their line of thought if they get interrupted.
This leads to workflow inefficiencies and loss of productivity, especially if they are interrupted numerous times.
Unless it is crucial, always encourage team members to email each other instead of interrupting others.
Another source of interruptions is unproductive and redundant meetings.
Businesses can reduce time wastage by having a clear agenda for all their meetings and only inviting those who are working on a task or project.
Studies have shown that people will not pull their weight if a task is assigned to a group instead of an individual.
This is because they do not feel directly challenged or responsible. To avoid this, managers should assign specific tasks to specific people.
This can improve productivity and even reduce the amount of time it takes to complete projects.
Doing this also requires that managers understand the capabilities of all their employees so they can take advantage of their strengths when assigning tasks,
Sharing and accessing data can waste a lot of time as can trying to find documents that you do not know where they are located.
Having a document management system in place simplifies any tasks or projects that need documents to be shared among workers.
Doing so can streamline workflows if the documents are stored in the cloud and accessible to everyone.
The good news is that the technologies to do this are already available.
You can store documents online or on-premise so they are accessible to everyone.
With the right tools and processes in place, it gets easier to improve workflow efficiency.
There are different ways to go about things depending on the type of business you own or run, but doing so has immense benefits that you can take advantage of.