Recent research has warned that many organisations in the UK could be struggling to achieve these goals, partly because of hindrances such as needless admin and a lack of clarity in the workplace.
According to a survey by work management software provider Asana, nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) of employees at British companies spend more than eight hours a week simply looking for information or trying to understand the status of the work they should be doing.
Nearly half (47 per cent) of respondents said they are regularly asked to stop working on particular projects without being given a reason, with 22 per cent of people saying this is a daily occurrence.
Robbie O’Connor, head of the EMEA region at Asana, said: “Employees want clarity on how their work fits within the bigger picture and objectives of their firm, and to be effective they need that insight. Until greater clarity is provided the productivity conundrum is likely to remain.”
So what can your business do to drive efficiency by ensuring every member of staff has a clear understanding of their goals and responsibilities?
Create clearly defined roles
Every individual in your workforce should have a clear idea of exactly what their job is and what is expected of them. Clarity should be a priority from the moment a particular role is created or advertised, and it can prove useful to have ongoing checks and processes in place to ensure employees fully understand their responsibilities.
If you find that certain positions are unclear or overlap with others, consider whether some workforce restructuring is needed to fix the problem.
Offer targeted training
Focused training on a particular function within a business can help people to improve their understanding of the subject and consequently do their job more effectively.
If an individual comes to you saying they are spending a lot of time trying to acquire the information they need or get to grips with a particular task, ask if they would benefit from some dedicated training or professional guidance.
Encourage openness and communication
An environment in which members of staff don’t feel confident speaking up and going to their manager to discuss difficulties is not conducive to long-term efficiency and productivity.
One of the most effective ways to encourage openness and communication in the workforce is by senior figures setting the right example. Team leaders and managers should make regular efforts to talk to people in person and to show that employees will not be judged for being honest when they feel unsure about their work.
Take swift, concrete action
Like any business challenge, a lack of clarity and focus within the workforce is best addressed swiftly and directly.
As soon as it becomes clear that inefficient admin or poorly defined roles are hindering business performance, decision-makers should waste no time in engaging with people to better understand the problem and formulate potential solutions.
Posted by Julie Tucker
Image courtesy of iStock/monkeybusinessimages
Back to Blogs