Even with the proliferation of technology and digitalization into our workspaces, several crucial departments are still held back by traditional, time-consuming processes. Take, for example, physical paper documentation. If there’s one thing that is a constant in different departments of any business, it’s paperwork – lots and lots of paperwork! For example, in HR, an executive could end up processing anywhere between 10 to 60 documents for the simple task of onboarding a new employee. Same for the sales team. Every pitch and subsequent sale contains contracts, MOUs, quotations, proposals, etc. The list is endless.
All these daily tasks require careful documentation, but printing, gathering signatures, and storing hard copies take up precious time and space, directly leading to confusion, loss of business hours, and the worst of all, productivity!
Similarly, there are many more reasons why a team’s productivity can drop considerably over time. Poor management, extreme stress, and burnout are some of the top causes for employees facing more than their fair share of challenges.
If increasing office productivity and employee efficiency are on your mind, you’re in the right place! Here are 5 essential tips to ensure that your team is high on productivity as well as morale:
Take time for planning
1 hour of planning can save 10 hours of doing! - Dale Carnegie
If to-do lists and post-its are your best friends, you are on the right path. But if you are not acquainted with the myriad advantages of planning, you must know that workload management for your team starts when you begin with a Group To-Do list. Working in tandem with your team and then executing your tasks as per priority is the best way to handle a tough day or week. Set priorities for yourself and your teams and ensure adherence to them. Whether you work in a highly charged environment like a lawyer’s office or a more structured and composed space like a School Principal’s office, having a well-planned day can increase your ability to perform at your best.
- Get behind your team and their goals.
- Set realistic but precise deadlines.
- Schedule planned downtimes for the team every few weeks so that work doesn’t become too tedious and overbearing.
- Adopt a cross-functional approach and ensure every team member is trained to take over in case of contingencies.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!
The Art of Communication is the language of leadership! - James Humes
Whether a company opts to utilize email, face-to-face meetings, or even an SMS alert system, the important thing is for employers and leaders to practice effective and positive communication. Effective communication allows employees to get clear and definite instructions, enabling them to act according to what is expected of them. Improvement in accountability then increases productivity in the workplace. Efficient communication, which includes clear instructions, fast message delivery, and proper explanation, is the key to solid cooperation between managers and employees. It plays an eminent role in getting things done, ultimately increasing the department’s productivity.
- Create regular newsletters and inclusive conferences to share the latest updates of your achievements, performances, etc.
- Create a work culture that appreciates open communication and transparency.
- Ensure that inter-departmental communication is strong and open. If the Sales team of an office does not clearly communicate the need for high client spend budgets to the finance team, let’s say, for a month, you can bet that there will be delays in your reimbursement processes. Stressful for the sales rep and inefficient for the finance man!
Delegate and develop!
Leaders don't create followers, they create more leaders. - Tom Peters
Identifying the strengths of your teams or employees goes a long way when it comes to handling the workload. Once you ascertain the strengths of your team members, dividing and delegating work should be an easy next step. Delegating empowers your team, builds trust, and assists with professional development. According to Harvey Mackay, founder of MackayMitchell Envelope Co., delegation gives you the chance to make workloads more manageable, but more than that, it can provide highly valuable teaching opportunities for your employees.
- Make sure the person you are delegating your work to understands why they are doing it and how they should go about it.
- Delegate a few minor tasks here and there and see how your team members handle them.
- Don’t forget about feedback!
Clean up that desk!
The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak. - Hans Hoffman
More often than not, you will find papers stacked at the front desk, piled around in the cubicles, shoved in drawers, tucked in cabinets, and stashed in storage closets around the office. Not only does this excessive paper use and practice of physical documentation leave your workspaces in disarray, but they are also expensive to manage and can considerably affect every employee’s efficiency scale. It’s no wonder that messy desks lead to stress, distractions, lower self-confidence, and reduced overall productivity. Studies show the average person wastes 4.3 hours per week searching for papers, which adds stress and frustration to the workplace while reducing concentration and creative thinking. You may think you’re not bothered by your overstuffed filing cabinets or the stacks of paper on your desk. But scientists at the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute show that our brains like order, and that constant visual reminders of disorganization drain our cognitive resources and reduce our ability to focus. They also found that when clutter was cleared from their work environment, they were able to focus and process information better, and their productivity increased.
- Marie Kondo your way through office decluttering. Organize a ‘Spring Cleaning Drive’
- Go paperless and introduce your team to DrySign e-signatures so that they don’t have to wait around for physical signatures from partners and clients.
- Incentivize cleaning - Give out annual or monthly awards to the best-looking home or office desk!
Inject technology to empower the team!
What new technology does is create new opportunities to do a job that customers want done - Tim O'Reilly
Technology is a beautiful thing, and it has come quite a long way over the years. One of the many things technology has done is increase business productivity. Turning over recurring and monotonous tasks to powerful computers increases productivity. It also reduces the chance of human error. What’s more, letting technology do the heavy lifting allows you and your employees to focus on core business tasks and revenue-generating activities. Never has there been a wider selection of technologies, apps, and programs to choose from that can reduce workload and increase productivity for you and your staff. Many successful businesses use applications for streamlining complex workflows and processes. They have features that ease repetitive and time-consuming tasks. These tech innovations have improved overall business ability to execute, pivot, and scale, and many of these technologies are still growing more efficient and innovative.
- Incorporate automation tools. Find tools that automate just about everything, from scheduling and bill pay to email responses and contact update lists.
- Take advantage of free trials and versions.
- Choose wisely when it comes to technology that can change the way you and your team work, for the better.
Reducing the workload and improving the efficiency of your team translates into direct gains and business growth. By adopting these techniques your office space and the team is sure to flourish and in return strengthen your business.
DrySign is a tool that can streamline and declutter your paper documentation and can be seamlessly integrated into your process workflows. There is no need to train your team on how to use the solutions and expend even more resources. A super user-friendly e-signature solution, DrySign allows you to sign, upload, send and receive important documents in minutes, from anywhere, anytime.
Why just sign when you can DrySign!
If you want to know more about DrySign and its role in improving productivity, click here.