Organizational efficiency initiatives are often viewed with skepticism – probably because they don’t always work, and even when they do, many don’t actually attribute the company’s success to these initiatives.
If this happens regularly, then employees in your company may simply view any and all productivity initiatives as nuisances and distractions. This, in turn, means employees will be less likely to actually adhere to any new efficiency protocols, dooming your efforts from the start.
That’s why, if you are going to introduce an efficiency tool or initiative to your business, it’s worth doing so in a strategic way. This will reduce skepticism and increase employee engagement with future efficiency tools and initiatives.
What does it mean to be strategic about your efficiency projects? Here are six actions you can take to make sure your efficiency initiatives catch on with even the most skeptical employees.
1. Measure Productivity First
To increase productivity, you have to start by actually measuring it. Try to understand how long it takes to complete the various administrative and revenue-generating tasks across the business. Look at every department, including marketing, sales, finance, and HR.
If you start by taking a good look at current levels of productivity in your organization, you’ll probably uncover many inefficient processes, and this will give you a clear justification for starting a new efficiency drive.
2. Implement Mobile Timesheets
One of the simplest ways to measure productivity is to ask employees to track all of their tasks and the time they spend on them, using a timesheet. By looking at the timesheets, you’ll be able to get a good feel for which tasks are on track and which tasks are in desperate need of productivity improvements.
To get your employees to buy in, make sure you invest in a best-in-class, mobile-friendly timesheet solution. This will make it easy for employees to track their tasks, no matter where they are or when they complete these tasks. The easier it is for employees to use a tool, the more likely it is that they’ll actually leverage said tool.
3. Prepare a Visual Chart Depicting Inefficiencies Across the Business
In order for your productivity drive to work, you’ll need to first convince your employees that there is a genuine need for efficiency improvements. When your employees recognize in concrete terms that productivity needs a boost, it is more likely that they will accept your initiative.
Make a compelling presentation on business inefficiencies that’s both visual and a bit “sciencey” – research shows that people are more easily persuaded when information is presented that way. Basically, the goal is to “science” your staff into submission so that they feel burdened by the weight of inefficiency and open to your solutions.
4. Introduce Your Productivity Initiatives
Once you’ve opened your employees eyes, get them excited by outlining the productivity tools and processes you wish to introduce.
For example, if one of your major problems is an inefficient filing system, you could give your employees an exciting presentation about the merits of a new electronic document management system you’d like to implement. Show your employees that the tech is easy to use – and will make their lives easier – and you’ll have allies on your side in no time.
5. Invite Employees to Suggest Productivity Enhancements
A great way to motivate staff and get them to engage with productivity drives is to involve them as much as possible. You can do this by actively soliciting their suggestions regarding what can be done to make the organization more efficient. You could even gamify the process by creating a voting system and reward the employees who submit winning ideas.
6. Measure and Present the Results
If you want to make sure employees really see the value in efficiency initiatives, you need to share the results. Introducing a new tool or process isn’t enough. You have to prove to employees that your initiative actually worked.
You already showed employees where efficiency was lacking (see tip No. 1), now show them where efficiency was gained. Advertise the positive outcomes, and you’ll see more engagement with future initiatives.
If, on the other hand, there was no productivity gain from the initiative, you should be honest. Tell staff members that it’s back to the drawing board this time around. Don’t make them continue along with processes or tools that aren’t working just to save face.
Efficiency is key to business success, but employees don’t always like change. Be transparent and invite them into the process at every step, and you’ll have a much easier time getting your skeptical employees on board with your new productivity-boosting initiatives.