Accelerating a business often comes down to addition by subtraction. Encouraging more quick face-to-face conversations while killing off the marathon meetings. Increasing focus by eradicating the interruptions and distractions. Boosting the fun by doing away with boredom.
Here are four ways to turbocharge your company.
Encourage more human interaction—within limits
Though emails and messaging may appear to be the quickest route to an answer, the endless back-and-forth often slows things down, especially when the question is complex. A quick meeting to clarify a discussion or solve a problem can simplify the process. No garbled typing. No misunderstandings over tone. No waiting for cross-fired messages. Just a few minutes to get down to the essence of the question.
Quick daily staff meetings can be similarly effective – if they are kept short. Get everyone on the same page at the start of the day (midday meetings kill momentum). Emphasize the highest priorities. Keep everyone one standing to boost the energy flow. Then break at the first lull. These short, frequent meetings help businesses solve problems in real time. Even better, they eliminate the need for those later, longer discussions sucking precious hours from the day.
While multi-tasking has become ingrained in our daily lives, it has also fallen out of favor with efficiency experts, who widely agree that distraction hinders both quality and production.
Consider dividing projects into smaller pieces to allow team members to focus more thoroughly on the task at hand. Assign responsibilities with a clear eye to each employee’s talents and bandwidth. Encourage staff members to complete a project before moving on to something else. Multitasking may offer the illusion of efficiency, but finishing a job offers a finer satisfaction.
Make it a game
Employees always respond more readily to incentives, so keep the challenges coming. Gamification employs the elements of play to motivate and enliven the workplace. The practice doesn’t mean turning the office into a bingo parlor, but amplifying the natural processes of the job at hand, whether it’s sales or customer service or collaborative projects.
Encourage enthusiasm by creating a reward system for completing tasks. The prizes can range from employee-of-the-week nominations to gift cards to paid time off or even promotions. Games can boost training, teach new skills, and help problem-solving. Better yet, they make an organization faster and more fun.
Automate the boring stuff
An investment in technology to streamline business flows may appear expensive at first, but it can pay off in the long run. Automate wherever you can, whether it’s providing receipts for vendors or pay stubs for employees. Customer follow-ups, contracts, appointments, and even new hiring can be managed with technology.
Assigning these tasks to machines saves employees time to perform the work they were hired to do. It allows for more critical thinking and creativity. Most importantly, automation lubricates the system to allow everything to move just a little—or a lot—more quickly.