Streamlining is all about making things simpler, easier, or both. This is usually achieved by removing complex or unnecessary steps. For example, facilities managers have streamlined communications with tenants by switching from written memos to emails. Instead of delivering a letter to every tenant each time an announcement is made, facilities managers can write one email and send it to all of their tenants at the same time.
There are several business processes that can be simplified, and multiple ways to streamline these operations. But managers who are looking to make changes should carefully assess how streamlining a process will benefit employees, and the company as a whole. Will staff be able to adapt to the new process within a reasonable amount of time? How will results be measured? What do you intend to achieve by streamlining? These types of questions should be considered first before any changes are made.
While there are many good reasons why you should plan before you act, here’s one of the biggest factors: people generally dislike change. Even if the change will ultimately make their lives easier, they’re not often motivated to do something different. However, if you have a reason for altering a process, when a staff member or tenant asks why they have to complete a task in a different manner, you’ll be prepared to give them a strong and convincing explanation.
Streamlining with purpose
Businesses are enthusiastic about streamlining processes because, when done correctly, it reduces time spent on tedious, repetitive or manual tasks, which in turn allows people to focus on more significant things. In short, streamlining assists with productivity and growth. But productivity is more than just output. Sure, you may be able to do more, but are these actions helping the company scale or generate additional revenue? It’s important to create and measure key performance indicators that are diversified enough to record different types of success. That may include research, networking, troubleshooting, customer service, meetings, etc. Streamlining just for the sake of it may not be as impactful as you had hoped it would be.
5 things your workplace should be streamlining
Small changes can make a big difference for employees and tenants. These five items should be streamlined to enhance workplace productivity and happiness.
Companies are still trying to figure out if they will keep the hybrid model indefinitely. But for now, a majority of companies are giving their staff more flexibility.
In order to ensure that everyone who comes into the office has a workstation that supports their needs, a desk booking or hoteling system becomes necessary. Staff can book their preferred workstation days or even weeks in advance. When they do come in, they won’t have to waste time looking for a vacant spot. Similarly, management doesn’t have to spend time assigning spots to people. Nor do they have to worry that there won’t be enough seats for staff in workplaces that have reduced their maximum capacity. Going back to the office on a regular basis can be tough, but finding a space to work shouldn’t be a part of that challenge.
It doesn’t usually take too much time to write up an email. But if you’re someone who gets 200+ emails every day, you may be spending two or three hours sending out answers. Having templates for common emails, and even email signatures, may save you several hours each week.
Just make sure you fill in any blanks, such as the name of the recipient or link to a form, so that the person reading the email feels as though you’ve given some thought to their question or request.
Most organizations use task management software to improve workflows. But task management only works if you are assigning the right tasks to the right people. Think about how frustrating it is to be assigned a task that falls way out of your job scope. Teams should be able to collaborate across departments. Things really slow down if teams are siloed off from each other.
In addition to providing team members with the details they need to get a job done, make sure they have enough time to do their best work. Some employees thrive when given tight deadlines, but others like to have lots of time to plan.
Parking isn’t always something that leaders consider when they’re thinking about workplace productivity, but it’s an issue that impacts employees who drive and don’t have assigned parking.
Employees sometimes spend ten or more precious minutes of time in their vehicle, circling the parking garage for a vacant spot. Not only does this waste gas, but it also takes away from time spent doing real work.
The good news is there are multiple parking management systems available to managers who oversee parking logistics.
Parking information screens – these digital screens are used at key access points, generally at a gate or similar barrier. They tell employees if there are still vacant spaces in the lot. Generally, the screens work in tandem with some type of hardware such as IoT parking sensors. The sensors calculate occupancy, and then feed information into screens.
Parking sensors – it is possible to install a parking sensor for each parking space. This allows a company or manager to track real-time occupancy. Often, these sensor systems work with a synchronized lighting system. The system directs traffic to empty spaces, which reduces search time for employees. Unfortunately, installing sensors for every spot is very expensive, so it’s not an incredibly popular choice.
Software – parking management software isn’t new, but it is becoming more popular due to its affordability and effectiveness. Parking management software can direct and manage thousands of employees and guests, and instruct each driver where to park. Though the driver may not always follow instructions, most will.
Some systems may allow a guest or employee to book a spot ahead of time. This enables the driver to plan ahead, and helps to create a happier commute for busy staff.
Online security and safety are a must for anyone who performs work on a computer. Security is undoubtedly more important than convenience, which is why many workers are required to use two-factor authentication or change their password to their professional email accounts every three months. But when you use six or seven different platforms for your job, it can be really hard to keep track of every single password.
Password managers allow individuals and companies to set difficult passwords and access platforms on the first try. Create one really strong password for the master login, and let the software remember the rest.
Benefits of streamlining processes and workflows
Streamlining manual processes provides many benefits to both employees and employers. Not only do these adjustments increase productivity, they can help a business generate more revenue, too.
This benefit is pretty obvious, but shouldn’t be downplayed. Tools and software that promote efficiency reduce manual data entry. As a result, staff have more time to work on tasks that will help the company grow or succeed.
People become more productive when processes are streamlined. Moreover, they are better able to focus on producing quality work than completing several unnecessary tasks.
More concise communication
Be it an email template or a desk booking platform, systems that streamline improve communications between people and departments, and clear up potential misunderstandings before they happen. Employees spend less time sending messages back and forth, and can get to assigned tasks more quickly.
Often, businesses with streamlined processes have greater transparency. It is easier to measure progress and catch errors or things that create problems for employees.
By taking the time to streamline the things that take up too much time or effort, managers can improve the entire work experience for tenants and employees.