Spring is a time for fresh starts, and while many of us think of spring cleaning as a time to declutter our homes or offices, savvy business leaders can also adopt the practice to clean up the way they operate.
Most business people have a natural way of overcomplicating processes that otherwise should be relatively easy to implement. And even though these processes are inherently designed to streamline and simplify the way we work, it’s essential to look for opportunities for improvement so that growth and innovation can continue to thrive.
Let’s review some practical ways you can spruce up your corporate workflows this spring and enjoy a higher level of productivity and employee satisfaction:
The phrase “This is the way we’ve always done it” is the single most detrimental phrase used in business. It indicates a lack of willingness to try new things that could be to everyone’s benefit and stifles the growth mindset. Instead, enforce a culture of change that encourages employees to investigate new solutions and systems that could improve the way they work.
Review Existing Workflows and Identify Bottlenecks
What’s slowing down your existing processes?
Before you can begin to improve your processes, you need a thorough understanding of how each process works and how it affects other processes in your organization. Your ultimate goal is to understand how you’re currently doing things and where you may have an opportunity to improve.
To start, take inventory of your existing workflows and current business objectives. Look for areas where there are or could be miscommunications or other inefficiencies that could be delaying results.
Break down each process into its individual steps to see if something can be automated or eliminated. With a better understanding of how and why your processes work, you can propose effective solutions to fill existing gaps without creating new ones.
Implement Automated Workflow Management Tools
Workflow automation tools not only help you document every process, but can also remove much of the manual aspect of performing certain functions. Processes that are prone to data errors or communication issues are prime candidates for automation. Companies can use various software tools to implement changes at scale and streamline operations.
In addition to implementing automation, it’s essential to also train your team on how to use any new tools to ensure adoption across the board. Automation is only powerful if it’s used correctly and consistently. This is an excellent time to gain feedback from the people who will be using automation management tools on a daily basis, which can help you further tweak your processes.
Test and Refine New Workflow Processes
As new workflows are implemented, it’s essential to test your changes to ensure that the new solution is truly better than what you had before. Be open to changing ideas as you go to ensure you’re not innovating for the sake of innovation. Good ideas, in theory, don’t always translate effectively, so continue to test and refine until you arrive at a desirable solution.