In an economy that seems a bit unstable or when the competition is crushing you, finding ways to make your company or employees more productive might weigh heavily on your mind. Workloads that seem to keep getting bigger, business interruptions that throw off the schedule or production abilities, and complex roles that require significantly more training can create a lot of stress in the workplace. These changes can create further problems with low motivation or morale. There are many differences between workplaces and industries, but technology can be leveraged to increase productivity for businesses of any size and operation. These are some of the most widely used products and approaches involving tech to achieve greater productivity in the workplace.
Establish an Environment That Fosters Collaboration
A lack of communication isn’t just a way to depress employees and run the risk of misinformation or poor planning. It stifles opportunities for employees and management to develop creative ways to address workplace challenges. Technology can be used to bring people together more productivity, allowing a free-flowing exchange of ideas or feedback. With opportunities to video chat or connect remotely using Ooma Enterprise Communications, you give your employees the gift of collaboration. Conduct brainstorming sessions across the different communication mediums for the sole purpose of creating new things, solving problems, or discussing current projects. Collaborative technology like note-taking or virtual meeting rooms allows employees to connect with one another regardless of their task or working location.
Rely on Group Messaging Apps
Miscommunication could cost a small business hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. The further employees have to go to connect with one another, the more complicated communication can become. It is like that old game called “Telephone” where one person whispers to another and so on until down the line someone makes an attempt to reveal what was originally said. Group chat technology improves employee productivity and brings efficiency and accuracy to communication. It reduces the need for long, slow email threads between multiple people, and it reduces the excuse of “I missed your email.” Group messaging is often accessible from both mobile devices and desktops, keeping employees in the loop from where they are.
Take Away the Munday
Every job has simple, routine tasks that must be done each day. After a while, employees perform these duties with very little thought and don’t realize the amount of time that might be taken getting them done. When you take the sum total of time devoted to these tasks over the course of a week or month, you might find a significant culprit of lost productivity. Technology and automation can reduce the need for human involvement with some of the items, saving seconds or minutes that add up into hours of productive labor. Password management tools for file sharing systems are one way to save a few extra steps for an employee. Accounting solutions, data security, and software updates can be automated or outsourced through cloud-based services.
Create Seamless Project Management Opportunities
Departments don’t always communicate with each other in the most efficient ways. Too often a supervisor focuses on the piece of the puzzle or project that their department needs to accomplish, then hands it off to the next team without looking back. They may not see that some part of the project has already been done, and assigns their employees according to what traditionally would occur. Two employees working on the same task, as well as providing two different versions, can be chaotic and an expensive waste of time. Project management apps can share information across all departments or team members simultaneously. These apps can detail deadlines, make specific task assignments, and highlight bottlenecks in the system. Project managers can have more direct contact with each part of the project, and when adjustments are made, all team members are able to know at the same time.
In keeping with removing the mundane activities, automation is a way to improve productivity. Time cards and schedule tracking can be done through an automated system. Not only does it keep your employee from having to manually enter hours into a spreadsheet and the payroll department from getting swamped with paperwork, an automated time tracking systems help reduce costs associated with time theft. Employees will only get paid for the number of hours registered through a tracking system, potentially saving your company thousands on false claims of overtime or employee’s cheating the system. Human resource managers would also benefit from automation, as there are many systems that can track and maintain employee benefits. Inventory reporting, year-end budget reports, and virtual voicemail are all things that can reduce the amount of time that is wasted by manual efforts.
Enhance Remote Training
Employee morale is initially developed in the onboarding process. It is during training that the new hire gets a feel for the company culture, learns the company values and expectations, and understands how to do their job and do it well. For remote employees, not being able to physically assess the atmosphere at the company headquarters can make onboarding less effective. With more companies opening work-from-home positions, training processes need to be revamped to increase employee longevity with the company. Use technology, whether software, apps, or devices, to create a fully equipped virtual office and library of resources for new employees.
When you understand what technology can do for your company, it is a lot easier to stop resisting change. Your employees will follow your lead and adapt to the new company culture that promotes working smarter and not harder.