Inefficiency costs the average company anywhere between 20% and 30% of its annual revenue. You don’t need to sit down and do the math to understand that this kind of oversight is unsustainable.
There are many kinds of inefficiency, ranging from operational to structural. However, a sensible place to start is by taking a look in the mirror. By first dealing with individual inefficiency you can then turn your focus to the bigger picture.
With that in mind, here are some practical tips to help you be more efficient at work, in turn leading to greater organizational efficiency:
Being disorganized is a style that some people seem to revel in. They shouldn’t. “He’s a little disorganized, but he gets the job done” is a sentence that no one should be saying in the workplace. Because disorganization may not ultimately impact in achieving the goal, but you can be sure that it meant that the goal was achieved slower than it could have been, or at a greater cost.
So, get organized. How? Start with scheduling tasks and prioritizing. Create to-do-lists and regularly update those. Structure your day in a way that allows for future planning and reviews of tasks completed. This all greatly adds to efficiency.
Use the right tools
Failing to use the right tools can greatly affect efficiency. That’s true whether you are a plumber, an aircraft engineer or an office administrator. Select the right tool for the task at hand, and regularly perform research to ensure that there is not a better tool that can be used. Saying “but I’ve always done it this way” is simply not good enough. If that was the case, no one of a certain age would be using computers, for example. You have to roll with the times.
Use performance reviews and even evaluate yourself
Every effective company should have in place a performance review system whereby management provides relevant and structured feedback to staff. This feedback is invaluable, but it is something that you should be employing regularly as a means of evaluating yourself. Be self-critical after you complete every project and ask yourself, “how could I have done this better or more quickly?” Building in this kind of self-analysis will soon serve to increase efficiency.
Compare yourself and your work practices to colleagues and competitors
As children we learn not to always compare ourselves to others. But as a self-improvement tool, this is absolutely what we should be doing. So, have a look at what colleagues and competitors are doing. Of course, there will be some elements in which you are more effective, but it’s about picking and choosing those aspects of your work processes that you know you can improve upon to become more efficient in the future. That’s a good comparison to make.
There are any number of ways in which poor communication affects efficiency in the workplace. And again, this is often something that originates at organizational level. But also, again, you can start by looking at your own personal brand of communication and think, “how can I do this better?”
For example, how often do you write the very same words in emails? Think about the time you could save by simply having a shortcode by which you can click and paste the very text that is needed at that very moment.
In fact, think about if that very possibility was available at a business level, i.e. if all members of the team had the capacity to simply click and insert the required text at the required moment.
Here’s are some relevant statistics for you. Office workers spend around 28% of the working day managing emails. That means, by having a tool that allows the insertion of relevant pre-written text at the relevant time – a tool such as Linguix snippets – can save an organization anything up to $18 per hour or $10,600 annually.
Here’s how you can do it: create your snippet, assign it a shortcode, hit ‘⌥⇧ Space’ on Mac or ‘Shift+Ctrl+Space’ on Windows to instantly insert the template.
So once again, simply allocate a shortcode to any text that you may need to use in the future, such as the start to a sales email, and when that time comes, enter the text through some simple commands. It really couldn’t be easier. And it creates consistency in message too.
This isn’t just about communication but also using the right tools and getting organized. All of those things together can lead to a huge increase in personal work efficiency. Employed across an organizational level, that is a huge change for the better. Just think of the valuable time and money that could be saved.