Disruption comes in many forms, and it can threaten to overthrow your attempts at improving operational efficiency if left unaddressed.
One of the biggest hurdles when inventing new processes to streamline productivity and efficiency at work is unexpected distractions. To avoid and overcome these distractions, you need to be able to identify them ahead of time and come up with an action plan for dealing with them.
Identify Likely Sources of Disruption
One of the first actions you should take when looking to mitigate the disastrous impact of disruption is to carry out an audit of likely sources.
By this, we mean analyzing where the most likely sources of disruption are likely to be. By bringing them to light, you give yourself the chance to be proactive rather than reactive in your problem-solving.
One way to do this would be to carry out a simple risk assessment, which could account for:
- Power outages
- Data breaches
- Workforce disruptions
- Supply chain struggles
- Technology failures
All of these issues can be relatively commonplace, and as such, should be treated as likely sources of disruption.
If the goal is to improve operational efficiency, then step one should be to remove any obstacles that could impede your progress towards this goal. Highlighting these sources allows you to create a blueprint for success that accounts for disruption.
Once you’ve identified sources of disruption, the logical next step would be to put contingencies in place.
Put Contingencies in Place
All of the disruption sources you identified in your initial risk assessment could come back to haunt you unless you set up contingency plans.
The purpose of a contingency plan is to have something to fall back on when inevitably something goes wrong. It ensures that you can continue working even when faced with a very real threat to productivity.
Something as unpredictable as a power outage or technology failure could hinder your productivity and - best case scenario - your ability to focus on the task at hand.
By providing your workforce with ways of continuing to work when faced with potential disruptions, you minimize interruption and boost operational inefficiency in moments of unpredictability.
An example of a simple contingency plan for a technology failure could be to lean on backup systems for any data your team might need. Alternatively, you may have an analog system that you can use to get work done regardless of the technology failure.
A focus on recoverability could be a key aspect of your attempts to improve operational efficiency, as it safeguards you against the unpredictable.
Automate Simple Processes
One of the best ways to achieve greater operational efficiency is to use automation.
Automation is essential for streamlining workflows and processes and can also help you mitigate both major and minor sources of disruption.
An overreliance on manual work can open the doors to human error, which in the long run can prove costly even if it’s as trivial as a data entry error or a typo here or there.
By automating simple processes across your company, you can completely mitigate the risk of human error and also accelerate progress to boost scalability.
Operational efficiency is all about cutting down on time spent on unnecessary tasks in order to free up resources to use elsewhere. Automation facilitates this resource reallocation, while also stopping disruption in its tracks.
Audit the day-to-day tasks and operations in your company, and see if you can identify the repeatable actions that could be outsourced to technology. Tools like Zapier can help you go a step further and create advanced automation for streamlining project-based productivity.
The time it takes a team member to finish a task, update its status, and inform the relevant parties isn’t worth it when a simple automation can fire off an email upon completion of a particular task.
Analyze Your Data
The data you gather from monitoring work performance will let you know if you’re on the right track with your attempts to boost operational efficiency.
While the employee monitoring software market is crowded, award-winning workforce analytics platform Insightful has all the tools you need to tackle employee monitoring issues and address issues such as idle time.
What is idle time?
Idle time refers to time employees spend on non-work related activities during the day, and it can have a significant impact on performance levels.
If you’re wondering how to monitor employee working from home, Insightful has the answers. The solution provides you with a straightforward way to manage employee data and see the impact of the changes you’ve already implemented. By looking through the history of employee monitoring in your company, you can set benchmarks and draw comparisons.
If you want to surf the waves of disruption as you go about improving operational efficiency, you need a reliable way of knowing what works and what doesn’t. Through automatic time tracking Insightful offers data transparency, and lets you build a clear picture of performance and productivity.
A brief examination of the time data you collect can show you:
- Which apps employees use and don’t use
- How much time different tasks each team or team member
- The impact of different work schedules on productivity levels
By seeing the apps and websites your employees use on a daily basis, you can evaluate whether the software you currently rely on is helping or hindering operational efficiency. Perhaps team members are spending too long on your communication platform, and a transition to a simpler solution could help you save time.
If certain tasks or projects seem to take longer for some individual team members, it could be that their time could be better spent elsewhere. Or, it could provide insight into the need for upskilling courses or professional development opportunities to get everyone on the same level.
You can also track the impact of flexible work schedules in your workforce with hidden software to monitor computers.
Say you’ve paved the way for hybrid work, and you’re curious to see if this has a positive impact on operational efficiency. With employee monitoring software on the radar at gartner, now’s the best time to invest in a tool like Insightful. Compare productivity levels before and after you implemented the change to see if the data reflects your observations.