Anyone in business appreciates the value of getting the job done faster without compromising high quality standards.
Becoming more efficient will have a direct impact upon your profits and create more time for you to focus on the things that are truly important to you. Efficiencies can be found in many facets of business. One of the most obvious places to start is with your staff.
The right people for the right roles
Getting the right people in the right roles is one of the biggest contributors to a more efficient business. This begins with an in-depth knowledge of your business and its requirements.
Step 1: Identify the skills your business needs. Are there any gaps?
Step 2: Audit your existing skills. What are your existing team members’ skills? Who does what best? Who in your business do you wish you could clone? Are they all in the right places, or are there people in your business who would be better deployed to another area?
Step 3: Describe your team culture. What types of people are the best ‘fit’ for your organisation? Do you want to foster a culture of creativity or a positive, ‘can do’ attitude? Does your current staff fit the particular vision you have for your business? Many experienced business operators spruik the importance of hiring for attitude above skills which can be learned later.
Step 4: Invest in the recruitment process. Ensure you allow enough time, energy and other resources to get the right people with the skills you need and the attitude you wish to foster.
Ensure you have team ‘buy-in’
Motivation is another key to improved efficiency. A motivated team will work harder and take more pride in their work.
Motivation means different things to different people. Some are motivated by money, others by recognition. Others revel in the opportunity to take on more responsibility. The important thing is to find the key motivators for each member of your team. What will make them want to come to work and perform at their highest level every day?
Training and development
In many industries, change is a constant. To remain competitive in this environment, businesses need to keep abreast of technological and other developments through education.
Training and professional development is a cost to your business. It can also mean a loss of productive time. However, the benefits can far outweigh any initial investment.
Training can be a great source of inspiration to your staff, motivating them to make positive changes or to experiment with new techniques.
Importantly, it also equips them with new skills and knowledge to help them do their jobs faster and more effectively.
To maximise your investment in training and professional development, encourage your staff to share what they learn with other members of the team.
Aside from human resources, equipment may be one of your largest business investments. Of course, this will depend upon the nature of your industry and your business.
Ensuring you have the correct tools, technology or equipment will result in a more efficient operation. Up-to-date equipment can also help attract the best staff.
It will be important for you to do the right calculations to ensure a return on your investment in equipment and resources.
Set performance standards
Involve your team in a discussion about the everyday procedures and activities within your business. What is involved in each procedure and how much time does it take? Use this information to set standards for your business.
For example, a manufacturer may set a minimum standard of a two-week turnaround for an item to be produced. A service provider may set minimum standards for customer service and response.
This discussion may also prompt thoughts on how to improve efficiencies to lift standards even higher.
Having decided upon your minimum service standards, document them and ensure every member of your team is not only aware of them, but knows how best to meet or exceed them.
- Conduct a skills audit of your business to identify gaps and to understand your team’s strengths
- Understand what motivates your team to perform at its peak
- Invest in training and professional development
- Invest in the right equipment, tools and technologies for your industry
- Set business-wide performance standards