Companies often develop work processes unintentionally. Employees tend to repeat a set of steps that worked well and continue to repeat them until they become the standard model for getting things done. The collective wisdom of an organization contributes to improving the workflow, and over time, processes crystallize.
This works well as long as the organization’s company culture doesn’t become sclerotic. Habits are important, but they shouldn’t be so rigid that they can’t adapt. Even the most well-oiled processes can use a tune-up every once in a while.
It’s critical to evaluate your work processes from time to time. Here are just a few ideas to boost productivity:
- Break work processes down – Work processes should be broken down into their smallest and most specific components. Managers should know the basic flow, but employees should fill in the specifics.
- Request input from everyone in the workflow chain – Ask employees how they feel about their specific involvement in the flow. Get input from everyone involved in the work process. They may be able to give detailed feedback about improving their segment of the overall procedure. Asking employees for feedback can make processes more efficient and makes the team feel valued.
- Eliminate the unnecessary – Are any processes in your workflow superfluous or obsolete? Look for steps that can be replaced by technology or may be unnecessary—even if they are habitual—and get rid of them.
Streamline your work processes periodically with input from all vested employees. Everyone will benefit from your “lean and mean” workplace—and so will your bottom line.