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Why Spend Time On Organizing Your Team's Workflow While You’re In The Field


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Businesses that focus on optimizing their team’s operational efficiency typically find better success.


However, finding the time and headspace to work on this can be difficult. As a small business owner, you find yourself stealing time.


You might be booked for interviews, meetings, and client calls, or you’ll be spending time doing the actual work and in the field.


While it may feel like your time is always booked, you may be surprised to learn that you can think through a lot of the operational workflow while in the field.


This article will walk you through why you should be spending time on your organization’s workflow while in the field.


 

Importance of Operational Workflow


Organizational workflow can have significant impacts on work quality. This is especially important in sensitive industries like healthcare and law.


The operational workflow relates to the flow of processes, personnel, and tasks that get things done within a business.


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Each and every company will work through its own set of workflows; however, there are standard best practices that are often followed or upheld.




When it comes to dissecting this overall in a company, a business owner or manager must identify why each process is important to that business and how it affects the other parts of the business.


Typically poor operational workflow will affect a business's bottom line, and it could lose customers.


On the other hand, a great operational workflow can keep customers happy and coming back for years to come.


Upon assessing your business’ workflow, identify the following:


  • The common tasks, projects, and factors that might impact the process to get work done in your business

  • Understanding logistical limitations that might affect your business or industry

  • Tallying all of the affecting factors to your business, like resources, available personnel, available technology, or research

  • Assessing your own customer experience, including the conversion rates, customer journey evaluations, and customer loyalty.


All of these factors will influence your business's bottom line, and it’s up to you as a business owner or manager to identify the ways that they do and the significance of their influences.


From there, you can better understand which processes need mending or fixing.




When Should You Consider Organizing Your Team's Workflow?


Understanding your team’s workflow and ways to improve it is not as easy as it sounds.


No matter how efficient you think your team is, there will be some investigation and testing.


If an organizational workflow is so important, it sounds like you should be setting aside time to analyze it, right? Luckily, getting started is easy.


All that really needs to happen is that you start to look at some of your basic processes from an analytical point of view.


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You can begin to think about your company’s workflow while doing the work.


In fact, one of the best times to organize the workflow is actually while doing your job out in the field, where the work gets done.


From this vantage point, you can see how your personnel interact with each other, suppliers, and clients. You can see inefficiencies simply by watching a transaction go through.


When you approach a regular transaction with the goal of improving workflows, you start to see the ways things can be changed for the better.


Perhaps you see that your subcontractors are going straight to the clients instead of going through you or the foreman first.


Or perhaps you notice where automation is needed. Perhaps your assistant is going to collect money but there is no way to process a certain type of payment. This can hold up the entire process and actually turn customers away.


By taking a step back to observe your workflow in the field, you can gain a lot more insight and research into improving your organizational processes.



 


Steps to Take to Organize Your Company’s Workflow


You may realize that your company’s workflow needs reworking but it can be hard to take the first step in addressing this weak point.


Here are the best ways to go about it:



Perform a Workflow Audit


You’ll want to start with a workflow audit. This will involve documenting the normal workflows for each of your job roles and then finding a basic understanding of the types of duties that each job role performs.


This audit is critical because it tells you exactly what your employees or staff are doing on a daily basis.


So while you may think that your head of HR is handling only HR tasks, your workflow audit may highlight that they are taking on more than that, including accounting and some of the legal.


These are weak points because your head of HR is not trained in accounting and they should be receiving support from the appropriate people.


Of course, if you’re a small business, then this type of overlap comes with the territory. So while this might not be pretty.


It’s essential for gleaning an accurate understanding of your company’s organizational structure.



Brainstorm Company Organization


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With a grasp of current, ongoing processes, you can start to brainstorm improvements to your organizational structure.


This is probably best done while actively working through those processes.



If you’re meeting with clients, suppliers, or managing your team in the field, then you might want to consider, even just in your head, what it would look like to change how certain aspects of your business work.


In other cases, you can search online and see how other companies are doing it as well. Get inspiration from successful companies in your field.



Discuss With Company Personnel


After you’ve got some ideas, you can start to discuss these potential changes with your personnel.


Your personnel should have some idea that you’re looking into workflow changes since you’ve performed the audit (and at that time you would have also deemed whether or not it would be worth optimizing).


Now you can present your ideas to your personnel to see if you’re even remotely on the right track. Your team will be quick with their opinion so try to stay objective. In many ways, they may just be against change.


Take this approach cautiously and expect some resistance. You’re not expecting your first idea to land. In fact, you want your team to criticize it a little or improve it so that it actually works for your team and organization.



Beta Test Workflow Changes


Once the idea has been hashed out, you can start to test it out. You’ll want to do this on the fly as sometimes that is the best time to do it.


You can tell your team to do all kinds of things, but it won’t stick until it happens while going through the process.


As long as you’re prepared for the changes and to help them, feel free to implement changes while out in the field. Be prepared to step in to guide them.



Update Policies


If your changes worked, then you can start to implement these new workflows. Update your policies, contracts, and anywhere where these workflows would be apparent.


 

When Is The Best Time To Organize Your Team Workflow?


When your company is running smoothly, it can be hard to change something. Small changes might cause some disruptions and you might notice that things are difficult for your staff.


While it can be hard to do this, you might find that your workflow needs to be changed when something major is happening.


You definitely don’t want to be dealing with workflow issues when a big project is underway, but sometimes that’s just how it happens.


Unfortunately, this can be rather annoying to deal with.


Therefore, you may want to take a step back during slow periods to optimize your workflow and make sure that it is working the way you want.


Maybe you’re always thinking up ways of improving your workflow, or maybe you’ve only noticed it because something went wrong.


No matter how you approach it, consider spending time organizing operations while out in the field. This way you can see how your processes actually work and come up with better ways of providing value to your clients.


 

Rationale


While it may feel like your time is always booked, you may be surprised to learn that you can think through a lot of the operational workflow while in the field.


Organizational workflow can have significant impacts on work quality.


No matter how efficient you think your team is, there will be some investigation and testing. One of the best places to do this is while out in the field.


Start by performing a workflow audit. Then brainstorm changes and discuss these potential changes with your personnel.


You’ll want to implement these changes in action in the field and then address any changes that stick in the policies.


Take a step back during slow periods to optimize your workflow and make sure that it is working the way you want.


 

Kyber Digital


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Forked River, NJ

08731

(215) 305-8769

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