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How to Improve Accuracy in the Workplace

by Tia Benjamin ; Updated September 26, 2017

The accuracy of work can literally make or break a business, directly impacting the company's bottom line in numerous ways. Your company's reputation will be damaged — and repeat customers are unlikely — if you cannot deliver a required quality product. The time spent correcting inaccurate work and the money wasted on poorly handled raw materials causes a significant fiscal impact to the business, requiring supervisors to spend an inordinate amount of time resolving messes. Even though solving the accuracy issue may require additional time on the front end, the overall savings in time and money make this a worthwhile investment.

Provide a clear explanation of the goal. Employees cannot provide accurate work if they don't understand what is expected. Set "SMART" objectives — specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely — so that performance can be measured.

Train employees on the correct process and procedure. Failure to understand how to properly complete a work task causes inaccuracy. New employees often receive on-the-job guidance from others in the department, causing sloppy practices to be passed on unintentionally. To improve performance, all employees should be fully competent and receive formal instruction on the best practices for the task. Reinforce the message with a procedures manual to help employees remember the steps.

Brainstorm the issue if accuracy problems persist. Include front-line staff in the brainstorming exercise, as these employees perform the task on a daily basis and will likely have the best ideas and information regarding areas for improvement. Don't allow negativity and resist saying "It will never work" or "That's been tried already." Allow employees the freedom to devise their own solutions to the problem.

Automate processes as much as possible to reduce the opportunities for human error. For example, if staff are frequently required to fill out a form or complete a letter, build a template that requires only a few details to put together a completed letter.

Include checks and balances in the process. Build in mechanisms for staff to check each other's work, or route work through the supervisor for a final accuracy check before it is considered complete. Although this may increase the time taken to complete the task, having an extra set of eyes on the process should result in dramatically improved accuracy.

Tips

  • Provide enough time for employees to complete the task appropriately. Under pressure, employees may be tempted to rush through the process, skip double-checking requirements or take other shortcuts, which can affect the overall accuracy of the work product.

About the Author

For more than a decade, Tia Benjamin has been writing organizational policies, procedures and management training programs. A C-level executive, she has more than 15 years experience in human resources and management. Benjamin obtained a Bachelor of Science in social psychology from the University of Kent, England, as well as a Master of Business Administration from San Diego State University.

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