Efficiency is defined as, “accomplishment of or ability to accomplish a job with a minimum expenditure of time and effort.” Part of running a company well is thinking about what could be done better, and where you can improve. So, efficiency is very much a part of that, and an efficient company is one that is most capable of profit and success. Therefore, CEOs regularly ought to take the time to assess the efficiency of their organization. Of course, if you don’t want to do this yourself, you can always hire an efficiency consultant. But, if you want to take on the task yourself, here are four ways you can improve the efficiency of your company in your Jacksonville virtual office.
Ask Your Employees What Would Improve Their Efficiency
Sure, you can think about things like ensuring compliance, eliminating barriers, improving access to information etc. Not that you shouldn’t think about those things and consider them as possible solutions, but that you should put a priority on what your employees need to be efficient if you are really committed to improving the efficiency of your company. Ensuring compliance may be great, but if your employees want faster Internet speeds and a software upgrade, then do the latter. If a few employees need extra help, get them the help they need or look at individual job responsibilities to see if you could move a few people around. If you’re making changes without the input of your employees, then you could risk making changes that don’t actually improve your efficiency.
Emphasize Efficiency over Billable Hours
If your company currently earns its revenue from billable hours, then you might be emphasizing inefficiency without intending to do so. With billable hours, efficiency can work against you and employees, and even encourage employees to take more time than necessary to finish projects just so they can earn more money. Making the switch from billable hours to retainer fees or one-time prices is a big overhaul, and would take time to implement, but the move would reward efficiency and would make it clearer to clients what they are paying for. This is perhaps the toughest way a CEO could improve efficiency, but it could be one that sets your company apart from the competition.
Take an Honest Look at Operations
There could be things that you’ve been doing for years that have worked, and that have helped to take your company to the next level, but really aren’t that efficient. For example, in the early stages of your business, it might not have been a problem to work with a new client in a way that the client sees fit, or to figure out how to move along as you move along. But, as a more successful company that’s bringing on many more new clients at a much faster rate, the “figure it out as you go approach” might not be as efficient as a standard onboarding process. Especially if you’ve grown substantially over recent months, an honest look at operations could improve your efficiency and better position you company to sustain that growth or to grow.
Another honest approach to operations is to outsource the tasks your company is weakest as completing, or to outsource tasks that your employees don’t necessarily need to do. If you’re one marketing person can’t do everything that needs to be done, or is maybe really good at certain types of marketing, consider outsourcing what that person can’t do. If your employees need help with data entry, filing, or doing research, then outsource those tasks so your employees can focus on more important duties and deadlines.
Look at the Results, Not the Hours
Working long hours and coming in on the weekends has become a badge of honor, productivity and commitment, but is it really efficient? This is a crucial question since many more positions in the workplace are skills-based, instead of based on meeting a certain quota or making a certain number or products. In this type of workplace, you need people who can do job well and quickly, judging job performance on progress and results.
So, how do increase efficiency without wasting time and ensuring your employees get everything done between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.? An excellent way to start is to limit meetings. Stop having them, especially if matters can be settled over email or over the phone. Avoid attending them, and if you absolutely must be there, make it a point to stay for a certain amount of time and then attend to other things. If you do need to have a meeting, keep it to 60 minutes at the most, and make an effort to plan for it in advanced, such as creating an agenda and passing it out at least one day before the meeting. Usually meetings beyond 60 minutes in length are unproductive and decrease efficiency.