You’ve heard it said that time is money, and this is particularly true when running a tech company. The more productive and efficient your company becomes, the better you’ll fare in this highly competitive field.
Some of the big tech giants, such as Apple and Google, run companies that are about 40 percent more efficient. Over time, this results in more profit and these companies edging out the competition. Fortunately, you can repeat their success by adopting some of their tactics, as well as a few other smart business standards.
1. Group “A” Players Together
Every company has a few stars in their employee pool. These are the people who are the go-getters. They have ideas, and they make things happen. They likely graduated near the top of their class, have internship experience and a passion for what they do.
In most companies, these “A” players are put into various roles throughout the company, working with all different levels, including employees not performing well. However, at Google, the “A” players are put on the same team and allowed to work together to accomplish amazing things. Not only does this spur on the others in the “A” group, but other groups look to them for inspiration.
2. Get Rid of Processes That Slow Things Down
Every company has certain processes that are cumbersome. Sometimes these processes are well intended, such as keeping management in the loop about important decisions or limiting how much money executives can spend.
Companies lose about 25 percent of their productivity to organizational processes that prevent work from getting down. People have to stop and get permission or are unable to complete a task because of all the rules in place. Even though rules protect your company, also include a way around the rules when it’s in the best interest of moving your business forward.
3. Improve Your Company Culture
A strong, positive company culture does several things for your business. First, it promotes a spirit of teamwork. If Manager A isn’t quite sure how to complete a big project, he will feel much more comfortable consulting Manager B if he knows that person well and has participated in teambuilding activities.
Reward hard work and good attitude, and your employees will lose their fear. Celebrate small and big successes together. Keep everyone on the same page with short meetings every morning. All these little things add up to a company culture that teaches employees to thrive instead of simply survive.
4. Audit Your Program
Some industries rely heavily on high quality and remaining competitive, such as aviation. Take the time for a program audit and figure out how you can improve various processes as well as decrease costs. A good audit will also identify ways to move forward and give you a solid plan of action for the future.
Audits have other benefits as well, such as opening up new business ideas, improving quality control and finding issues in the supply chain. An audit isn’t a one-time occurrence, though. A thorough audit should be done at least every year or two.
5. Automate Tasks
Take the time to really look at your business and what tasks require hands-on work and which ones could potentially be automated. If you require employees to file lengthy reports, is there a way to generate the report more quickly or shorten it the process?
The more tasks you can automate, the more time you free up for your best employees to innovate. In a tech company, you can easily automate and outsource customer service tasks. Just make sure the service is still up to your standards. This frees resources you can then point toward creating new products.
6. Stop the Multitasking
Multiple studies show that multitasking is not efficient and actually lowers productivity. Most people simply can’t multitask. Instead, their brains are moving from one task to the other, bouncing back and forth rapidly, but losing momentum in the process. A very small 2.5 percent of people can multitask with any success. That means the rest of us are just spinning our wheels.
Encourage your employees to focus on one task at a time instead of trying to do multiple things at once. Stress the importance of this and share the studies with your workers. Create a company culture that rewards focus rather than quantity of tasks completed in a day.
7. Ban Unplanned Short Meetings
One of the biggest time-wasters in many workers’ days is the “hey, do you have a minute or two?” meeting. This is when someone has a question and they pop over to the other worker’s desk and ask a few questions. The person’s work is interrupted and it takes several minutes to get back into the flow of what they were doing.
Encourage people to shoot out an email instead that the person can answer at a later time. Few things are as urgent as they seem. Teach employees to figure out the difference between urgent and important and to keep unplanned meetings for only those tasks that truly are urgent.
8. Engage Employees
Investing just 10 percent more in employee engagement improves your bottom-line revenue by about $2,400 annually per engaged employee. What are some ways to engage employees, though? First, cultivate leaders in your company. A strong leader can inspire employees and will make them feel part of the team.
You should also allow an open forum where employees present their ideas, reward the effort and provide plenty of team building and company teamwork opportunities. Reserve one day a month for mini-retreats and one day a week for recognizing stellar work and effort.
9. Seek New Tools
When it comes to running your business on a day-to-day basis, embrace new software and tools. More and more people use Instagram today. Is your marketing department focused on an Instagram presence? Does your target audience live there?
Don’t be afraid to try a new tool, new way to promote your business or new software. A tech company should be on the cutting edge of new innovation more so than other types of businesses. You can always return to the old way of doing things if needed.
Successful Tech Companies
The most successful tech companies start with innovation and a unique outlook on the world and never stop innovating. Apple didn’t just create a smartphone and leave it at that. Instead, the company constantly releases new updates and phones with better features. If you want your tech company to be the next Google, or even just successful in your own little corner of the world, you must open your eyes and mind to doing things differently and encourage your employees to do the same.