Operational Efficiency Starts with Tracking the Procedures

operational efficiencyHaving well-designed procedures builds operational efficiency and offers a huge benefit to any business. When performing tasks, people develop a specific way that they do things. The way that things are done become operational systems.

Operational efficiency and effectiveness improve when you document the workflow by your staff. In the process of documenting, you can identify redundancies and gaps. You can consider what steps can be automated. You can identify what steps can be eliminated. Allowing staff involvement with this activity is a great way to increase staff buy-in.

At times, work can be boring. Other times work can be difficult. You still need to  maintain operational efficiency and effectiveness. Here are some tips.

Keep on Track by Focusing on Purpose.

It’s optimistic to think that everyone understands why it’s important to follow a specified process, but in reality, the truth isn’t always clear. If your staff doesn’t see how their work contributes to your company’s overall purpose, they are likely to become less motivated and may skimp in their work or dawdle along the way.  The process has been created for operational efficiency and effectiveness, but the work can slide off track if staff isn’t motivated to go the extra mile.

Know Who is Responsible.

The worst part of operational procedures going amuck is that it becomes hard to turn things around.  Having people accountable for their work and identifying who is responsible for each part of the work process allows you to quickly assess who needs to make the adjustments to get the work back on track.  Also, the people responsible for monitoring procedures can quickly notice if a process needs to be modified so that operations can run effectively and consistently hit their targets.

Communicate the Impact to Keep Everyone Motivated.

By speaking with everyone about the importance of tracking their procedures, they begin to understand their impact.  Allowing them to write the procedures in a document form, you allow them to become owners of the final agreed upon procedures.  They are more likely to follow the process more accurately since they are the ones who documented the workflow.  This sense of ownership is another way to keep people motivated.  People like to know that their input was requested and respected.

Focus on Progress not Perfection.

In every business there is room for improvement.  It may take time for staff members to become comfortable with tracking procedures using a written document.  However, as work is tracked on a consistent basis, operational efficiency and effectiveness will improve.  Be careful of using the term, “best practices” when crafting your process documents.  New more effective work procedures will always be developed with changes in technology and workflow.  If you wait until everything runs with perfection you probably will never get started with documenting your procedures, so focus on the progress of getting started.

Focused Productivity

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Dr. Ann Gatty is a partner at Drs. Gatty, LLC, a business consulting firm, helping businesses add value-assets to their businesses. For the past twenty years she and her husband, Gene, have been providing business leadership mentoring and solving HR employment issues. Ann has recently created The Business Sphere of Excellence® a strategic business planning model used to construct annual and long range business plans helping businesses run more efficiently and profitably. Dr. Gatty is an expert in understanding and improving the workplace culture which is foundational for implementing any successful strategic initiatives. In order to better explain the importance of employee engagement, Ann partners with Beretta, her Great Dane therapy dog to present her key findings. For more information about leadership mentoring or building a business to work brilliantly, visit www.strategicpeoplesolutions.com.
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