It is a widely held belief that 9 out of 10 startups eventually fail. The numbers may seem saddening but present a fairly accurate picture of the state of new businesses.
While there may be various reasons for a failed startup attempt, productivity remains the most important KPI to gauge a business's performance and future potential.
Improve the yield of your business and boost its efficiency by adopting these five best practices.
1. Review your existing setup and automate operations with technology.
Look at your business and its processes from the point of view of a potential investor. There may be several areas of inefficiencies that can be transformed to deliver a more efficient and less costly operation. A lot of redundant tasks can be automated by virtue of technology and software, doing away with the need for a dedicated staff. For instance:
- Procurement Express: It is purchase order software that automates the purchasing process of a company. It helps employers gain control of purchasing done by employees, on behalf of the company. Features include supplier management, approval for purchase requests, purchase orders, budgets, invoices, deliveries, document management, etc. It prevents fund leakages from various loopholes of the process and saves budget overshoot and complex paper trails."
- Logentries: It aggregates all your company's logs and data at one place integrated with the cloud, regardless of size, format, volume, or infrastructure. Using the data, it provides detailed analytics with correlation amongst fields to identify trends. It provides data security and pattern based alerts for important changes, breaks or failures.
- Marketo: It is software that automates your marketing activities. It covers diverse platforms like emails, social media, push notifications, in-app messages etc to deliver your company’s marketing communication. It provides a complete CRM solution along with a detailed analytics to review the performance of your digital marketing efforts.
2. Encourage flexible work schedules and control employee absenteeism.
Nowadays, it hardly matters if the employee is physically sitting in an office or working remotely from home, as long as the work gets done. Countless researchers have unearthed the fact that most people prefer working from home. It is not only better for improving motivation levels but enables workers to get more work done. If your business cannot afford for a remote working, allow flexibility in working hours. For instance, providing a eight to nine-hour work window instead of a fixed login logout schedule.
Employee absenteeism is a problem when the leaves are unscheduled and sudden. As per a 2016 white paper by Cascadehr, there is an evident link between employee engagement, well-being and absence. It recommends steps to create a well-being initiative as:
- Understanding the link between organizations engagement scores and absence rates
- Developing and implementing employee engagement program
- Analyzing current wellbeing initiatives and/or assessing the satisfaction levels of employees
3. Create spaces for 3Cs and streamline your workflow.
Industry pundits suggest 3C methodology for work scheduling and distribution.
- Creative: Work that requires mental aptitude and creative potential, e.g., writing, planning, decision-making
- Collaborative: Work that needs scrutiny by various departments, e.g., meetings, discussions, brainstorming
- Connective: It includes the human desire to stay connected and social with other people. A workplace must include areas for all the above-mentioned activities. The data analytics company Eventbrite provides one of the finest examples of an attractive and employee-friendly workplace.
Streamlining processes across various departments identifies bottlenecks and creates effective systems to manage processes and resolve issues. Implementing Unified Communications for sales and Agile Process for software developers improve workflows and enhance connectivity amongst teams for greater productivity.
4. Know your workers' HVAs, and outsource less-important tasks.
High-value activities or HVAs are the tasks that a worker performs naturally. These are the hobbies and inclinations of a person, which are supposed to be done faster. These can be translated as the strengths of an organization. Analyze your workforce and list out their key skills. It is best done at the time of hiring.
A person can't be great at all the things. A business may have a huge workforce with substantially large teams for specific tasks. For dedicated activities, which are not your company's niche, outsourcing can be a cost-effective method. Many entrepreneurs don't consider outsourcing their functions, fearing the loss of control over their business or simply the expenses. But nowadays, there are reliable websites like Fiverr which connect businesses with freelancers and also dedicated companies to outsource activities like logistics, accounting, public relations, IT, marketing, etc.
5. Offer incentives and inspire participation for a healthy work environment.
Incentives are more than a virtual pat on the back. It is a tangible way to recognize your employee’s efforts and reward her for the performance and quality of work. While it may seem unnecessary and call for a little extension of the budget, but it is great for businesses in the long run. Performance-based incentives push employees to work their hardest and extend their boundaries.
Adopt an open-door policy and promote a culture of open communication. Encourage collaboration, association, and feedback between departments, management, and staff to boost motivation and positivity. A happy workplace is supposed to be a more productive one.
Removing inefficiencies and enhancing a company's performance can be really difficult if a proper methodology is not adopted. The task may be daunting and seem unreal, but take this chance to transform your business. Adopt the above techniques and create a business with an enhanced work output.