One of the most common problems that businesses face is a lack of efficiency in their processes. According to market research firm IDC, 20 to 30% of a company’s potential annual revenue is lost due to inefficiencies.
They can also lower employee morale, as workers will grow frustrated as simple tasks take longer than necessary. Additionally, they can limit a company’s potential growth by taking up time and resources that could otherwise be used for expansion or achieving other goals.
Examples of Inefficiencies
Perhaps the most common instances of inefficiency stem from communication issues within the company. If one department doesn’t know what another department is doing, the two could end up doing the same work or even unintentionally end up working against each other.
Another major cause of efficiency issues within businesses is poor time management skills. Employees or their supervisors might spend too much time on tasks of lesser importance and not enough time dealing with those that really matter, which can severely hinder the business and its long-term goals.
How to Increase Efficiency
There are many steps that businesses can take to increase efficiency. One popular method is to employ the use of programs like (Lean) Six Sigma which are designed to streamline processes, reduce waste, and standardize procedures to make sure every part of a business operates at peak performance.
Companies that don’t want to pay for an entire program to focus on waste reduction and efficiency can study the Six Sigma methodology and choose the parts most relevant to their situation.
Key pieces to the program’s methodology include creating charts for each step of the company’s process and identifying tasks that overlap between departments or are redundant. Streamlining the process to eliminate waste will save the company both money and time.
Speaking of time, having time management procedures in place and prioritizing high-value tasks can also help improve efficiency. Misused time can be devastating for businesses, especially startups or other newer companies. Improving time management in employees can help your business’s overall efficiency.
This includes both employees misusing work hours for personal things like browsing social media and supervisors demanding that workers use time for pet projects like organizing instead of focusing on things like quality control and improving the company’s goods or services.
Perhaps the most important way to increase efficiency in the workplace is by having an open and clear dialogue between employees and management. Workers who use the system every day will generally have a good idea as to the system’s flaws and how to make both their jobs and the process flow more smoothly.
This is not to suggest that management must follow every suggestion or demand that employees have, of course. Instead, these suggestions should be weighed against the goals of the company at large and implemented if possible.
By listening to employee suggestions, implementing the core philosophies of Six Sigma or other programs, preventing waste when possible, and managing time correctly, companies can be more efficient and successful.