From your business’s inception to the current day, the processes that you use will have evolved to meet the demands of your changing business. Businesses change in response to different factors: growth, market changes, new technologies and even new employees. So, what was once a successful method of undertaking a task, may not be the best fit today, but have you reviewed processes recently? By reviewing the processes within your organization, you will be able to identify which areas can be streamlined and made more efficient. Here are four ways to improve your business processes.
- Cut the Jargon
Language is the ultimate tool for communication; every word should bring value to the audience to which the message is being given. However, often the message that is being delivered is diluted by unnecessary jargon. There are of course circumstances when jargon is needed, for example in niche technology industries, but on the whole, it is best removed from your organization’s vernacular. You want your communication to be clear, succinct and concise – not only for employees, but for customers too – jargon-free communication improves engagement with the organization, and the public’s perception of it. Banishing unnecessary jargon increases efficiency because people understand what is being asked of them.
- Lean Thinking
The term lean thinking was coined in 1996 by authors James Womack and Daniel Jones in their book of the same name. They had studied the car manufacturer Toyota and had been impressed by how the organization is lean and waste-free. Lean thinking is a simple concept and is centered about how customers only pay for things that they want, and so every action that is performed within an organization can fall within two categories:
- Value: actions that add value to the customer, for example, packaging on a product.
- Waste: actions that contribute nothing to the customer, and something that they would not knowingly pay for, for example, products being stored in a warehouse for 6
Lean thinking is about removing the waste from your processes so that your organization runs more efficiently. This approach is not just applicable to manufacturing processes, but across the business: remove queues from your employee canteen, remove duplication of tasks in the finance teams etc.
- Check Your Tech
You can have all the latest software to help your business become more efficient, but you need to also regularly review your hardware which is essential to the running of the applications. It is prudent to check your computers’ hardware quarterly to ensure that they are running at optimal speed and efficiency. You may need to increase the RAM memory if you identify that equipment is not performing as it should. Slow running computers or laptops cause frustration for your employees, and can seriously impact on their productivity and efficiency.
- Address the Culture
The culture of your organization is an important factor in the success of your business. To ignore any failings within your company will impact greatly on its efficiency. Interdepartmental politics can lead to a disruption in workflow. You all need to be working collaboratively to achieve the business goals. Your employees are your business’s most valuable asset, but they can also cause the most damage. Your organization’s values must be documented, and you must all work by them. Celebrate successes, recognize and reward achievements, and act on issues or challenges as they are identified. The business’s culture needs to foster an atmosphere and environment that people want to work in, and by doing so, you will be able to recruit the best people for the job, provide employee satisfaction and retain your employees.