Did you know that the average employee is only productive for about 60 percent of their workday? When it comes to productivity, you can expect it to ebb and flow some, but you can also increase it by improving your office workflow. There are many companies out there that will tell you they have the perfect tools to help your team be more efficient.
However, what if we were to tell you there is no perfect solution? Your company is as unique as the snowflakes that fall on cold winter days. That means you need unique solutions, and a list of tech won’t necessarily be helpful for you. Instead, you need a process to help you identify the types of tools you need. This will help you find the smart and innovative solutions you’re searching for.
Keep reading, and we’ll explore a process that will help you identify the smart and innovative tools that will help you.
Evaluate How You Currently Do Things
What do your current processes look like? What are the factors impacting productivity? What kind of strengths do you have? To accurately evaluate your current workflow, you’ll need to do two things:
- Identify problem areas
- Identify what is working
As you look at both of these areas, take the time to make a list. Dare to be different as you make your list and think outside the box. What would a better process look like? What tools do you need to make that happen? It might be helpful to create a subject map while going through your evaluation.
Identify Problem Areas
Is there a process in your office that everyone hates and trips you up all the time? This is a problem area, and it’s imperative that you identify it.
Your first step is going to be identifying problem areas. This can be done by observing how your employees work and what bottlenecks occur during their workday.
Evaluate What Works
Next, it’s time to think about what’s working well. This will help as you begin to research possible answers for the problem areas. When you already know what works well for your workplace, you can build on that as a strength.
For example, maybe you’re looking for a better way to stock your shelves in your store. If you already use software that helps with planograms, you might be able to expand on that same software to find a solution.
Research Possible Solutions and Tools
This is where we get into the nitty-gritty details. Finding solutions for your office will be unique; that’s why we’re discussing the process versus giving you a long list of tools to try. Every workplace has unique needs and unique strengths. That means that each one needs a unique solution. Some common solutions you can expand on include automating repetitive tasks, streamlining communication, and implementing new technologies.
Implementing new technologies can be a great way to improve office workflow. There are many different office productivity tools available, so it’s important to find ones that will fit well into what you’re currently doing. The tools you’ll need are highly dependent on the process you’re wanting to streamline.
For example, if you want to improve project management software like Trello or Asana is great. However, if you’re looking to manage documents, you might want to consider Dropbox or Google Drive. For some companies, you might need to look for even more creative solutions, for example, maybe you need a reliable emergency incident response management platform or AI that can help build out strategies for a retail store. The tools you need will vary a lot depending on what you identified in the evaluation stage of this process.
How to Get Employee Buy-In When Implementing Changes
Once you’re done researching, it’s time to actually start implementing your new solutions. This is the scary part and it can be a bit of a challenge if your team is resistant to change. We get it; change is a challenge and it’s scary, but it’s necessary for your company to continue evolving.
However, for change to be truly successful in any organization, it is vital to have the buy-in and support of employees. Otherwise, even the most well-intentioned changes can fall flat. Here are a few tips for getting employee buy-in when making changes in your office:
Communicate Your Reasoning
What are you trying to accomplish with the changes you’re implementing? Will it make your employees’ lives easier? Will it improve customer experience?
Let your team know your reasoning. They’re more likely to be on board with changes if they understand why you’re making them.
Consider Employee Input
Every day your employees come in and do the work to keep your company working. However, bosses often forget to get their input when implementing changes. If the new processes you’re making will impact your employees, then they should be a part of the decision-making process.
Getting their input helps your employees feel heard. This can, in turn, help create buy-in before you even start. Who knows, your employees might have ideas you didn’t think of as well.
The unknown is scary, and if your employees are worried, they’re more likely to be resistant to the shifts you’re attempting to make. Keep everyone informed as plans develop, and be clear about what will be different once the changes are implemented. While there may be some things you can’t share, share as much as possible, as often as possible.
Implement a Trial Period
Allow for a trial period. If possible, let employees test out the new way of doing things before making any permanent changes. This can help ease them into the transition and give them a chance to provide feedback on what works and what doesn’t.
Putting a solution into place is great, but you also need to ensure that it is working. Determine metrics that will help you evaluate the change. Tracking KPIs will allow you to identify if you need to make changes.
There are several ways to track the success of your office changes. One way is to simply ask employees for feedback on how the new system works for them. You can also track metrics such as
- Productivity levels
- Error rates
- Customer satisfaction levels
Whatever method you choose, monitoring the results will help you perfect your office workflow and keep things running smoothly.
Adjust as Needed
Sometimes, you might implement changes and discover it simply caused more problems. That happens, don’t stress.
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to improving your office workflow. Every business is unique, and what works for one might not work for another. That’s why it’s important to be flexible. You need to be willing to adjust to the changes you’re putting into place. Sometimes you have to toss what’s not working out and start from scratch, don’t be afraid to say that something isn’t working and make more changes.
Use These Solutions for Your Workplace
You can’t find the right tools for your office, without the right process. Making the changes you need can help create a better workplace for everyone involved. Start digging into where you shift current processes and make the changes you need for an efficient office.