How to ensure your business works like a well-oiled machine

From proficient project management to strong staff coordination here are some pointers to making it all come together as a company.

From proficient project management to strong staff coordination here are some pointers to making it all come together as a company.

In our hyper-entrepreneurial culture, there are ways to make your business perform like a well-oiled machine, instead of being a cog inside one. This is a matter of programming or training particular work patterns and less to do with cold and industrial punching in and out on a clock. Just like you’d upkeep parts and products for your favourite car, your business requires the same forethought and care.

If you find that occasionally things are slipping through the cracks, things are being lost or misplaced, or tasks need to be done two or three times for them to get done right, then your business isn’t running as well as it should. Something as small as a missing email today can mean devastating consequences for your business later on down the road, if proper systems are not adopted and trained into the daily governing of the business.

The operation

Great project management is extraordinarily important to your overall operation. Aside from major confusion, underproduction, and wasted man-hours, improperly managed projects will impact the quality of the work produced and affect the entire company. The scope, goals, and objectives of the project need to be predetermined and consistently reevaluated. The entire plan and deadline should be written down and clearly communicated to the project team. Resources need to be maintained and teamwork needs to be encouraged and checked in on.

Ultimately, in order to be a truly operationally excellent company that sees results and profits, your system needs to include strategies that eliminate waste, mistakes, and hassle, while also saving money and time, and that make your entire organisation more efficient and productive. This system and its strategies also should be easy to learn for present and future employees.

The operators

Being able to manage your people is a huge part of being able to manage your business. After all, there would be no product without the people producing it. And, unfortunately, the saying that ‘people leave managers, not companies’ is actually all too true. A lot of the factors behind whether your employees are motivated and productive has to do with how well they and their projects are being managed. A recent Forbes article put this concisely: ‘there’s no question that a chronically high level of employee disengagement represents both a failure of management and a fundamental challenge to it: a challenge to do what is needed to keep vast numbers of individuals interested in their work, feeling good about their organisations, and working as productively as they can’.

If a significant number of your workforce is working at less than full capacity, there is a motivational problem at the managerial level. Some of this could be due to an unrealistic workload and exhaustion, and other factors can include general disenchantment with the job itself and a disengagement with the company overall.

To better engage employees and improve productivity, you have to first identify the key issue – why they feel disengaged to begin with – and then go about dealing with that issue. As far as keeping your employees motivated, setting clear and measurable objectives can be a great productivity booster. This allows productivity to be measured and holds the employee responsible for meeting this target. Furthermore, keep in mind that this needs to be realistic. If your workforce is burnt out, slapping deadlines on them isn’t going to help things. Investing a little bit more in methods to boost employee morale and productivity could be one of the best investments that you make for your business. 

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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