Approaching this year’s UK Customer Experience Awards, we are sharing some interesting insights and tips from one of the awards judges, Michelle Hoskin, covering staff efficiency optimisation. After the period of summer vacations, we believe these tips might help you build your own award-winning team or initiative.

My goodness, isn’t this the million-dollar conundrum!? I think it is safe to say that we all appreciate the need for support at certain key points throughout the growth of our business but, despite every effort to fight off the need to hire more help, we always end up finally giving in to the lure of an extra pair of hands with (hopefully) a much-needed and advanced set of skills.

As Gino Wickman, in his book Traction quite rightly puts it: “You must delegate to elevate!” But it’s not so easy. We don’t like hiring help, people are expensive, they need managing and legal HR is a minefield!

Add to this:

  • We don’t trust other people.
  • We think we are better at the task than anyone else.
  • We think our way is the right way.
  • We don’t understand why we would ask someone else to do something when we are quite capable of doing it ourselves (capable being the key word here!).

But… and it’s a BIG BUT! Gino is right.

Delegation is vital but in my opinion delegation is not enough… it is effective teamwork that is the difference between a business that’s just surviving and a business that’s thriving!

So, how do you optimise staff efficiency?

1. Do not compromise

The first thing you have to do is ban the word ‘compromise’ from your business vocabulary! Surround yourself with the right people, doing the right thing, in the right way, at the right time. Anything less than this means you will be making compromises left, right and centre. When you compromise, someone else in the team has to overcompensate for someone who is just not doing what they need to do in the way they need to do it.

2. Put the pressure on

I’m not talking about literally piling on the work until someone breaks under pressure; I’m talking about the fact that deep down we are all naturally quite lazy. Since the Stone Age, we have been hard-wired to save our energy and rest – because we never knew when we would need to fight for our next meal. Sadly, these behaviours (more so in some people than in others) are still very real in today’s life and workplace. One of my favourite sayings is: “If you want something done, give it to a busy person!” Not for the obvious reasons but because a busy person works smart: they have to because they have so much to do, they are under pressure, they have deadlines, are driven and remain constantly and totally focused on getting the job done. No questions, no excuses!

3. Implement a continual improvement programme

Constantly ask “Why do we do this and why do we do it this way?” Set this as your team’s mantra and ethos. Constantly look and find better ways of working and, when found, recognise and reward for improvements made. Having a sense of achievement motivates us to be brilliant so set ideal and key results which you would like to achieve in each business or task area.

4. Keep talking

A team that collaborates together – improves together! It’s as simple as that. Project sharing and collaborative working make for a happy team and a happy team makes for happy clients and happy clients make for a happy business! Win, win, win!

So take a look: what is really going on in your team, who’s leading the way, who are your little superstars, who are your work heroes and those who really do approach every task with joyful effort?

Appreciate, recognise and reward those who have your back and the back of every single one of their team members.

And the results, rewards and even awards will naturally follow.

Interesting links:

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