Business is a competitive environment, so it’s important that companies focus on being efficient with their money and resources. The need to be efficient doesn’t exist just with top leadership and company managers. This should be incorporated in the company’s culture so that employees at all levels are focused on efficiencies.
For companies who haven’t incorporated efficiency into their culture, here are a few tips on how to do so.
Communicate Expectations to Employees
Employees want to work for a company that they feel respects and values them. Efficiencies can result in extra work for employees or a reduction in perks the employee receives. Effective communication will help to stymie the perception of disrespect and not caring that can occur if companies implement efficiencies with no communication.
Allow Employees to Contribute
Employees often have great ideas for how to make a company more efficient because they are on the front lines of production and service. Supervisors and management should take time to speak with employees and get their ideas.
Sharing their ideas and perspectives helps increase employee support for the efficiencies and increases their fulfillment with their job. This in turn can lead to greater productivity and efficiency as a study by the University of Warwick reports a 12% increase in production for happy employees.
Companies who choose to replace outdated technology or implement new software to help manage their business can also gain efficiencies. Communication or social networking software can help employees communicate and share their ideas with management, and the immediacy of it helps management receive and take action right away.
Business can also utilize cloud-based workflow software to review their processes and help identify how to make them more efficient.
Reward Good Behavior
As positive changes are made in the company to be more efficient, employees will begin to review their daily work and look for their own efficiencies to implement. Supervisors and managers should look for these efficiency gains and reward them as appropriate. Personal recognition or monetary rewards encourages employees to continue engaging in efficient activities.
Eliminate Bad Apples
Some employees may resist the changes coming about, especially if there has not been a focus previously on efficiency. For some employees this is due to perceived takeaways by the employer, such as a reduction in overtime or fear of losing their job. This can often be resolved over time by training and ongoing direct communication between management and the employee.
However, others will remain reluctant to embrace the changing culture since they are opposed to change in general, regardless of what it is. In these cases the company may need to make a difficult decision regarding the employee’s position if they will continue to be a detractor from the culture.
Don’t Compromise Safety
Companies should continue to stress the importance of safety as they focus on implementing efficiencies. Safety processes should not be compromised just to save time or make things more efficient. According to the National Safety Council just one work-related disabling injury costs a company an average of $48,000 per year. While the desire is to become more efficient, it’s not worth the cost of an employee’s health or life in doing so.
Changing an organization’s culture doesn’t happen overnight, so management and leadership shouldn’t expect to see results immediately. Employees need time to understand and assess the new culture as well as determine how they can impact its success.
By continuing to have open, two-way dialogue with employees at all level, management can keep its pulse on how the changes to efficiency are being received. And with the implementation of some of the tips listed here, companies and its employees can start to capitalize on these efficiency gains.
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