Your business’s processes are incredibly important. Have you checked their efficiency lately? One of the worst things you can have in your business is inefficient processes. Your employees might be making it work. You might not even notice your processes are inefficient. But, burying your head in the sand can have negative impacts in the long run.
Why are Processes so Important?
Processes are the gears of your business. They are what make the machine start, and the wheels turn. Maybe your employees are pretty good mechanics. They get those inefficient processes to start up every morning and keep them running all day long.
But, what happens if you lose one of those efficient people? Do you have the time or knowledge to train a new mechanic? This practice is extremely time-consuming, and ultimately companies find it virtually impossible to plug a new person into an inefficient process and get it up and running just the same as before.
Another issue with inefficient processes is that they are un-scalable. Even if you retain your highly productive staff, you can’t grow your department or company because if you change anything, you will lose your efficiency. Your machine, your business, must keep functioning as is in order to retain its current efficiency, with no ability for advancement.
If you have a staff that is already incredibly productive, even with inefficient processes, imagine what they could do for your company with the time and energy they would save using effective processes.
Take a long, hard look at your business. Are you running efficiently? If you are, is it because of your employees or your processes? Ideally, you have both, but your processes should always support your employees instead of hinder them.
How Do You Identify Inefficient Processes?
1. Look for Problems – Where is your company losing money? Where are you seeing frustrated employees or high turnover? These are likely your most prominent problem spots. Start here. Talk to your workers and find out how you can improve their processes to make things run more smoothly.
2. Analyze Software – We have all done it. Purchased what we thought would be an excellent program for our business to find out later it was not what we wanted. But, it’s bought and paid for, so we try to make it work. If your workers are using inefficient software because of a substantial upfront cost, you waste even more money in the long run.
3. Read Client Reviews – Are you consistently getting negative reviews with similar complaints? There might be an inefficient process to blame. Look for trends in your customer feedback and find ways to improve the processes around the causes of complaints.
4. Track Worker’s Time – Ask your employees to track how they spend their time for one week. An excellent resource for this is https://clockify.me/. It’s free and straightforward to use. Look at where the most time is being spent in each department and then look at the processes around those tasks to see if you can make them more efficient.
Once you have a clear picture of the inefficient processes that exist within your business, you can choose which ones you want to focus on. Ideally, you would correct all of them, but realistically that won’t be an option to do all at once. Choose the processes that are having the most significant impact. For example, fix the process that effects 10 employees at $15/hr before the one hindering one employee at $50/hr.
Don’t let your business run like an inefficient well-oiled machine. In the long run, ignoring inefficiencies results in a burnt out staff and stagnant growth potential. The cost is just too high.