Posts Tagged ‘efficiency’

Okay, You Made a Mistake at Work. Now What?

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Have you ever made an office gaffe? If yes, how did you react? Did you immediately come clean to your supervisor, apologizing for the error you committed? Or did you cower in your office, hoping no one would figure out it was your fault when “you know what” hit the fan.

Depending on your workplace environment, you and your team members’ reactions to mistakes could vary greatly. How does your company handle mistakes? Are people yelled at, punished or embarrassed? What comes after the mistake? Nothing, ambivalence or more rules? Well if any of those characteristics described your workplace, an evaluation of how you handle mistakes is appropriate.

Supporting team members when they make mistakes is helpful to all involved. When a mistake is not the end of your career, you’re able to learn lessons and more. Here are four benefits of owning up to your workplace blunders:

Avoid the Drama

Excuses, blame games and throwing people under the bus can ensue after a workplace mistake is discovered. However, if you cultivate a culture in which mistakes are permitted and you’re required to learn a lesson, a probable witch hunt will be thwarted because the culprit will feel comfortable coming clean. He won’t have to waste more time covering his tracks or creating alibis.

A Quicker Fix

The faster your team learns who’s responsible for the mistake, why the mistake was made and how the mistake will affect business, the quicker you can work to resolve any issues that are associated with it. Don’t let a workplace oversight take control of your organization. Encourage your team to be forthcoming with errors that will affect your business. Although it might cause an immediate small pain, in the long run, your business should be feeling fine.

Innovation and Efficiency Arise

Sometimes an employee mistake reveals the inefficiency of a workplace process that needs updating. Knowing where an assignment went wrong or how a deliverable was held up could foster innovation for preventing a similar occurrence from happening again. Challenge your employees to find a solution to a mistake first.

Number of Mistakes Decrease

The more stressed an employee is, the more mistakes he is likely to make. Being fearful of making an error only increases pressure on yourself and your employees. Letting them know that mistakes happen and a blunder is not the end of the world will help them shake away some stress, have clearer heads and perform at optimal levels for your organization.

For advice to encourage your team members to not be afraid to make or reveal a mistake, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: Brett Jordan

Optimizing Efficiency And Productivity In Your Organization

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

In today’s fast-paced business environment, many employers are analyzing office efficiency and productivity, and implementing policies and technologies to improve both. Listed below are 10 policies and procedures designed specifically to maximize office efficiency and productivity. Following these tips can help create a more enjoyable, productive and cost-effective work environment.

  1. Clean desks. Establish a company practice where employees maintain a clean and efficient workspace. Furthermore, schedule monthly cleanups to reduce clutter around the office.
  2. Scheduling tools. Regardless of which office tool you use to track the whereabouts and activities of employees, make certain all employees use it to notify the rest of the team when they are traveling, at a client site, working from home or on vacation.
  3. Wireless capability. Build an infrastructure that allows server and e-mail access wherever an individual may be in the office (e.g., conference room, training room, etc.).
  4. Cell phone options. Encourage employees to share their cell phone numbers with co-workers so they can be contacted when out of the office or traveling. Make sure all employees respect the privacy of their co-workers and keep all shared cell numbers confidential.
  5. Training to share. Train employees in technology that allows and encourages remote sharing of information like SharePoint, Skype, WebEx, Live Meeting or GoToMeeting.
  6. Reservations protocols. Set aside specific meeting spaces that must be “reserved” for use, and communicate to employees how and when to reserve them. Also, if available, designate a smaller room/area for “on demand” meetings that do not need to be reserved.
  7. Concentration indicators. Establish methods for employees to indicate their “unavailability” for meetings, contact or interruptions during times when concentration is paramount. This can be something as simple as a closed door or phone on “do not disturb,” or the use of scheduling tools to carve out a block of time as “busy” or “unavailable.”
  8. Electronic filing standards. Design and implement an efficient electronic filing system to eliminate duplication of information and the administrative time required for manual filing. Centralize printing facilities in strategic locations on the floor to mitigate excessive printing and minimize noise in the open workspace.
  9. Daylight! Research indicates people are more productive when work environments provide an open view to the outside environment. Allow blinds and interior doors to remain open when possible.
  10. Encourage community. Create opportunities where individuals can share their personal experiences or skills. Reserve time in meetings where the agenda allows for personal communication, rather than completely focusing on business.

If you have questions about maximizing productivity and efficiency, please contact a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.