Accountants Nail Productivity

1st Mar 2021
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Every business wants to increase productivity, but the path is not always clear. Some businesses focus on boosting individual productivity by giving people tricks to work faster or smarter. Others focus at the organisation level by adding departments or positions in order to deal with arising problems. Although there can be benefits to both these plans, sometimes they have no impact on productivity or may even have a negative impact. Instead, focus on simplifying systems and creating clear communication channels that foster cooperation. Changes can range from increasing awareness of employee workloads to implementing a simple real time payment solution for getting invoices tracked and paid. Little changes such as these can have a massive impact on your bottom line.

Why do businesses fail to increase productivity?

Yves Morieux, managing director of BCG, explains that often businesses tackle the problem of productivity incorrectly. They either focus solely on hard pillars – structures, processes or systems; or soft pillars – feelings and interpersonal relationships. One business might try to increase productivity by adding a department to mediate between two departments and another might instead focus on encouraging colleagues to like one another. Morieux argues that these are not the easiest or most successful ways to increase productivity and can instead complicate a situation even further. He promotes the idea of cooperation and simplification because when cooperation occurs less resources are used and employees feel invested in the outcome of a situation. 

Steps to boost productivity

Daniel Markovitz, in the Harvard Business Review, lays out four ways businesses can improve their productivity by simplifying systems and creating clear channels of communication and understanding, which will foster cooperation and a feeling of shared interest in the success of the company.

Tiered huddles – Create a system of tiered meetings with a straightforward way of escalating issues up the organisation ladder. In this way, problems can be dealt with at the appropriate channel by the people who can most effectively handle it. 

Make work and downtime visible – Too often people are not aware of what their colleagues are doing and this can lead to employees getting overloaded, with scheduled downtime being ignored. Using online scheduling systems or physical boards to list what people are doing can ensure that tasks are distributed evenly and downtime is respected, which can boost worker satisfaction.

Define a communication channel for crises – Ensuring that people know the best way to communicate about urgent and non-urgent problems means these issues can be dealt with in the most appropriate way and by the most suitable people. Time will not be wasted on non-urgent issues and urgent ones will not get lost in the shuffle.

Give employees ownership of tasks – If an employee is in charge of a task, make sure they can make discretionary judgements and do not have to constantly obtain approval from upper management. Employees that feel ownership of a project will be invested in its success, cooperate with others, and will make decisions more quickly.

Simplify for a boost in productivity

Increase productivity by simplifying your systems, and exploiting a real time payment solution.

Creating clear, simple structures in an organisation helps increase productivity. One area where you can simplify and become more efficient is in your business’s collection of bills, by using a real time payments solution. Ordo is an easy to use, streamlined, instant payment service that will work seamlessly to invoice and collect payments from your clients. Other payment services can complicate your accounting process and increase your costs by taking time for the cash to come in and show in your account, and have the wrong or no reference attached. But Ordo offers automatic reconciliation of payments, and instant notifications of invoices having been read and payments received, all saving you time and money and increasing the efficiency of your practice. And if you or your clients are using Sage, QuickBooks or Xero, it's even easier with Ordo being fully integrated. Invested in by Nationwide Building Society, organise a demonstration today and find out how Ordo can simplify your payments process and boost productivity.

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