A workplace that isn’t organized can be chaos, and this can mean not getting enough done over the course of a week/month, which can be terribly frustrating.
You may experience piles and piles of paperwork, neverending emails, and other workplace horrors that set you and your employees back and stop you from getting everything done that you really need to.
However, there’s really no need to continue enduring such frustration when there are so many techniques that can be used to vastly improve workflow!
With our 15 ways to vastly improve workflow, you and your employees will find work much easier and far less stressful. Getting things done will be a breeze – perhaps even a joy.
Below, we’ll go into detail on 15 ways you can improve workflow within your enterprise
#1 Find Ways To Improve Communication
Communication is key within any business organization. This is one of the first things you should focus on improving if you want to see improved workflow.
It’s critical everybody understands the rules and processes – so communication on your part is key. Make sure that there are no crossed wires.
Encouraging open communication will also give employees more confidence to report issues when they need to. Team building can encourage better communication between your team, as well as a healthy workplace culture.
#2 Hire Efficient Employees
Hiring efficient employees is an obvious way to improve workflow – but what about if you’re not hiring and you already have a team? Many distractions can present themselves throughout the working day, so you need to give your team ways to keep their focus on what is important.
Regular breaks should be encouraged, as a good break will leave your team able to concentrate better and complete a higher quality of work. It’s much better to work for about an hour and take a 5-10 minute break than to work for hours on end and then take an hour-long break.
The longer the break, the easier it is to get out of that focused mindset. Plus, shorter breaks have been proven to be more effective in terms of productivity and motivation.
#3 Provide Consistent Training For The Workforce
Your team will be more comfortable and less intimidated with proper training, so ensure you plan for consistent training.
If you don’t, your team will tend to procrastinate and take their time with things that shouldn’t be taking them all that long at all. Receiving the same training multiple times can even be effective as it can calm any worries and give your workers more confidence in what they are doing.
Training will make your team feel more able to tackle difficult tasks, so plan it regularly.
#4 Stay As Organized As Possible
Organization in the workplace helps workflow by reducing the amount of time needed to look for an item and provides a more stress-free environment.
Working on this a little each day can help massively, but make sure everybody is on board. Hiring a cleaner can help to keep the workplace clean, tidy, and hygienic, but make sure you have plans put in place for keeping documents and other important things organized too.
#5 Remove Unnecessary Stressors From The Lives of Your Team
There’s no need to spend hours each day worrying about things that don’t really matter in the long run, but stress isn’t always something you can just make disappear. Stress can bog down employees and stop them from completing the work that really matters.
To help, go above and beyond to help your employees remove things from their life that are stressing them out. Some employers, for instance, will go as far as putting a good word in for their employees when they are looking for a new place to live.
An employee that isn’t worrying about important things like their living situation is obviously going to be able to work more productively.
You can also help by encouraging your team to exercise (biking to work and free gym memberships are good options), and helping them to eat well by having healthy vending machines and space for them to put their packed lunch.
#6 Analyze The Current Workflow
Do you know as much about the current workflow within your business as you think you do?
You probably don’t, so list every process and do a thorough analysis of what is really going on. You should know how each process in every division or department operates so you can work out what has been going wrong. You can also ask for feedback from your team, as they are the most qualified group of people to ask.
When you have done this, you’ll be able to break your work process into smaller, more manageable steps. Remember, the simpler the better!
#7 Use Apps And Software To Assist Workflow
Apps and software like this netsuite field service solution will mean your team can automate certain processes, saving a lot of time, effort, and stress.
Leaving everything to your team can leave your business prone to data errors and miscommunication. There’s software for specific types of business, such as case management software, and then there’s software that can help businesses of all kinds, like SharePoint and ProWorkflow.
There are many more that can help a business to streamline their process, so read up on reviews and consider asking for recommendations.
Doing this will allow you to make complex business processes super simple!
#8 Prioritize The Work That Matters
Take another look at your processes and rank each process on the basis of its importance. Rate them on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the least important. You can use this scale to keep your workflow properly maintained and achieve the best outcome at the end of each process.
#9 Document Everything
Be realistic – nobody can carry out every process and task completely from memory. Document everything and lay out every step in each process.
By documenting exactly what is going on you can ensure everything is working exactly as it should be.
#10 Get Ready To Adjust Over and Over Again
You’re going to want to test your new workflow in the work environment, but once you’ve done this you must be ready to make improvements based on the results that you found. New things take a lot of time to implement, so be patient with yourself and your team.
You have to be ready to refine your processes over time; changing things up once isn’t enough. Remaining flexible and ready to change when needed is crucial. Don’t get too attached to the way you do things, as the business world just changes too quickly these days.
#11 Ban Multitasking
Multitasking can make your team feel like they are getting more done, when in fact they are actually slowing down.
In general, focusing on one task at a time is far more effective, gets a better result, and means quicker finishing times.
Make sure your team knows how counterproductive multitasking can be, especially when it comes to things like replying to emails when they are supposed to be doing some real work.
#12 Be Transparent With Your Team
Are you transparent enough as a manager, or boss? If you need something to be changed, or somebody isn’t doing something the way you want, you have to be willing to say it.
Beating around the bush will slow everybody down. This is where those communication skills will come in handy, too. You need to be tactful but clear in your approach.
#13 Consistently Work On Keeping Up Employee Morale
Employee morale is a huge factor in the workflow. If you have a team full of resentful employees with low motivation levels, they are going to clock watch all day long and will likely procrastinate as much as they can.
Rather than being a helicopter boss and implementing measures so that you can watch everything that they do, take a better approach. Improving employee morale is all about making sure they feel acknowledged.
You should also celebrate holidays and celebrate your employee’s birthdays, so use a calendar so that nobody can forget any upcoming events.
Your team is going to be spending a large portion of their days in the workplace, so find ways to make it more enjoyable for them.
#14 Create The Ideal Productive Work Environment
As well as improving morale by acknowledging your team and implementing more fun, create the ideal work environment, too.
Provide employees with refreshments, like hot drinks and snacks. Let in natural light for a more productive workplace, as artificial light can have a negative effect on productivity. Include plants too, as they have been proven to make people happier and clear the air.
They’ll make the workplace both healthier and look better.
Using the above 14 techniques will enable you to create a far more productive work environment. Can you think of anything else to add to the list? Leave a comment below.