For many , spring symbolizes a season is for cleaning, purging, and organizing. For me, I find the summer months the perfect time to take a long hard look at processes that are working, those that aren’t – ultimately weeding out inefficiencies and making the most of refining activities that help keep on track throughout the rest of the year. I find approaching this methodology mid-way through the year allowed enough time to observe and identify any inefficiencies while leaving plenty of space to pivot strategy in the back half of the year. I also find that summer months lend themselves more easily to focus on task like these –often lacking the spirit of Q1 and the urgency of Q4 and giving me some much-needed whitespace on my calendar to focus and dive into a review. Here’s four of my top tips to take stock and gain control at this time of year.
Although this may seem an odd starting point, trust me – taking a deep dive into the technology you use and pay for is key to current success and future-proofing for you and your business. It can save valuable time, money and resources when you cut inefficient programs, collapse technologies, and unload software that no longer works or fits your needs today.
When auditing technology, ask yourself these key questions:
- Is the technology still serving its purpose?
- Have your rates gone up? What is the average they are rising?
- Are your employees using the technology? If they’re gravitating to another platform, is it one you can formally adopt?
- For hardware, is it time to upgrade?
Another key piece here is to look for commonalities – for example, ShareFile offers far more than standalone file sharing. Workflows, integrated e-signature, and Microsoft Outlook Plugin, essentially cover the tasks of four separate tools in just one solution. Do you have technology overlap?
Audit the feedback and approval process
How do you collect and give feedback? Streamlining the approval process is a key part of adequate collaboration and business success.
91% of businesses say collaboration will be critical to success in the next 3 years. According to a study and report by Harvard Business Review, “technology such as document sharing or video conferencing have allowed internal and external cooperation to grow, fueling a synergistic revolution.”
Do you have a simple way to gather and disperse feedback or do documents get stuck in a never-ending loop of missing replies? Is there enough balance between software and human resources to collaborate well? Take our assessment to see if you’re a collaboration champion.
Audit employee resources
Do you have the correct positions leveled for the everyday tasks your business requires? You may find that as business needs change, so do your staff needs. Look for gaps in task assignments and bottlenecks in productivity – these can be indicative of where human resources are not properly allocated. Resolving the audit may be as simple as rewriting job descriptions or offering additional training. It may also help you identify a gap or need for additional resources to accommodate your growing business.
Audit employee satisfaction
Newsflash! Improving the experience for employees accounts for a 50% lift in productivity. Employees are more productive when they have simple, secure access to the tools they need on a daily basis but, experience with these resources is key. Taking pulse of employee contentment should be a yearly (if not bi-annual) task.
A recent report from Oxford Economics highlighted that employees who feel trusted and have flexibility are more engaged and productive, with a 51% higher morale. Can your business offer flexible schedules and the ability to work remotely for employees? If not, is this something you could change with new technology?