In this digital era, employees can work on the go, communicate seamlessly with each other and use online tools to streamline time-consuming tasks. The downside is that they spend less time working productively. As a business manager, it's your responsibility to monitor and improve workplace operations so your team can reach peak performance and avoid distractions.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
One way to monitor and improve workplace operations is to collect employee feedback. Conduct surveys, hold team meetings and organize one-on-one meetings with your staff members. Encourage open communication and show your employees that you care about what they have to say.
Why Monitor Work Operations?
According to a survey, the average employee is productive for less than three hours in an eight-hour day. Most office workers spend their time reading news websites, gossiping, checking their social media feeds or even searching for new jobs.
The modern workplace is full of distractions that keep your employees from getting work done. Taking a break every now and then is perfectly fine and is even recommended. However, if your team members are wasting hours on social media, it's time to do something about it.
In addition to distractions, there are plenty of other things that can hurt employees' productivity and overall performance. Low team morale, limited access to technology and equipment, poor communication, workplace conflict and bad management are just a few examples. Each year, employee disengagement alone costs American companies up to $550 billion in lost productivity, as reported by Gallup. Taking time to monitor work operations can improve your company's productivity and help you identify potential issues before they escalate.
Make a Checklist for Items to Monitor
First of all, determine what needs to be monitored. Focus on areas of critical activity, such as those with high revenue streams. Also, identify any areas where things are not going as planned.
For example, if your project management team is constantly missing deadlines, try to figure out why that happens. If your customers are not satisfied with their experience, keep an eye on your customer service team.
Next, come up with a plan and decide what methods you're going to use to monitor work operations. Consider asking your customers for feedback after every interaction with your business. This will give you a better idea of how your customer service team is performing. Depending on the situation, you may use checklists, reports, benchmarking, surveys and other tools for monitoring change in the workplace and assessing employees' performance.
Set Realistic Business Goals and Objectives
A common problem for many startups and small businesses is having unrealistic or unclear goals. This creates a workplace culture where failure becomes expected.
Set realistic objectives for the next quarter or the next year and then communicate them to your team. Outline the steps needed to accomplish those goals and define milestones for each goal.
Consider offering incentives to your employees to boost their motivation and engagement. For example, you may offer additional training, bonuses or flexible work schedules. Recognize and reward your top performers with an additional day off or paid vacation. Provide constructive feedback and let your employees know when they are doing a good job.
Collect and Analyze Employee Feedback
Poor employee communication, misunderstandings and conflicts can have a dramatic impact on workplace operations. These problems affect employees' motivation, increase turnover and harm a company’s reputation.
Collecting employee feedback is an effective way to monitor and improve workplace operations. Take time to talk one on one with your team members and hold regular team meetings. Consider placing a suggestion box in the office so your employees can provide anonymous feedback. Encourage them to share their ideas and express any concerns they may have.
Pay attention to nonverbal cues when walking around the office. Do you see tight faces or downcast eyes? Do your employees always seem like they are having a bad day? Are they constantly missing work or taking time off? These red flags indicate that something is wrong, so try to determine the cause and address any potential issues in a timely manner.
- Inc.: In an 8-Hour Day, the Average Worker Is Productive for This Many Hours
- Gallup: State of the American Workplace
- Business 2 Community: 6 Ways to Improve Business Operations
- Entrepreneur: 3 Steps for Aligning Your Organizational Goals
- Entrepreneur: Five Shortcuts for Maximizing Efficiency at Work
Andra Picincu is a digital marketing consultant with over 10 years of experience. She works closely with small businesses and large organizations alike to help them grow and increase brand awareness. She holds a BA in Marketing and International Business and a BA in Psychology. Over the past decade, she has turned her passion for marketing and writing into a successful business with an international audience. Current and former clients include The HOTH, Bisnode Sverige, Nutracelle, CLICK - The Coffee Lover's Protein Drink, InstaCuppa, Marketgoo, GoHarvey, Internet Brands, and more. In her daily life, Ms. Picincu provides digital marketing consulting and copywriting services. Her goal is to help businesses understand and reach their target audience in new, creative ways.