Business is different today than just a few short decades ago. Customers want high-quality products in a timely manner and because they have more options available to them. Companies must strive to stay cutting edge and a step ahead of the competition. But how can businesses that are already swimming in paperwork or working on limited resources boost productivity without increasing errors, cost, or risk to employees? How can organizations do more with less?
The key is knowing where to start.
Starting at the Human Level ~ Reducing Errors
A company can change everything—software, production, processes, suppliers—but none of it will matter if they fail to address the human element of their organization. This is because, while humans are a company’s most important asset, they’re also accountable for anywhere from about 60% to 80% of all failures, accidents, and incidents in high risk industries.
Instead of simply accepting this as a part of life, put the time and effort into effectively decreasing employee misunderstandings. Treat human error as a risk to be managed and an opportunity to learn instead of an embarrassment. Search for ways to prevent risks, rather than just correcting them.
Consider the “empowered accountability” concept. Used by both the United States Marine Corps and the FBI, this concept makes problem solving a “life skill” first and a job skill second. Employees are encouraged to study their own habits—on and off the job—so that they can better understand the types and frequency of their own mistakes. This makes them more aware of their own propensity for error, and it encourages them to find solutions to solving everyday problems before they happen.
Another method for reducing human error is data analysis and presentation. Sometimes humans need tangible information to see and understand where they can improve. This can assist for quality, safety, and customer service related data and present it to employees. Brainstorm with them on ways to improve communication, policies, processes, and/or job functions to improve employee understanding and productivity.
Digging a Little Deeper
With the human level addressed, it’s time to dig a bit deeper into the ways that production can be boosted on all levels, and throughout all departments. Your first order of business is to assess the current system to determine where it is failing. The following are just a few common and potential issues found within organizations:
- Lack of Organization
- Ineffective Communication
- Broken or Manual Systems
- Excessive Workload
- Inefficient Production Processes or Procedures
Once your company is clear on where the problems exist, it’s time to create a plan. More specifically, it’s time to create a productivity plan, complete with monitoring, tracking, and analysis to ensure that gains are being made. Goals, timeframe for them to be completed, responsible personnel, and regular communication are crucial to making any productivity plan a success.
Want to learn more about creating a productivity plan for your business? Check out this blog post that has tips for troubleshooting productivity plans. For further assistance, you can also contact us here.