Workforce productivity drives the success of a business. A worker’s output contributes to efficiency, yield, and revenue; yet, over the last several years productivity has declined. The Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that productivity in the U.S. grew a mere 1% between 2007 and 2016 — a historic low.
It’s a worrying trend. Economists are speculating about the long term and trying to uncover why people aren’t working as productively as they used to. However, one look at the data surrounding operational productivity can provide critical insight into why worker performance is suffering and how it can be improved.
According to a study by Siemens Enterprise Communications, businesses with more than a hundred employees spend an average of 17 hours a week clarifying communications, which translates to $528,443 in losses annually. However, The McKinsey Global Institute discovered that when companies improve communication through the use of collaborative technologies, they boost productivity up to twenty-five percent.
It’s an easy conclusion to make: bad communication costs money. Cutting edge organizations are resolving this by introducing technology that better connects employees. Snappy connections like these mean less downtime spent on makework tasks like reiterating memos and removing double entries.
So how do you start communicating better? The answer can be found in task management software.
Improving performance with task management software
Enterprise task management software can be a cure for many ailments. For starters, it can unclog a stuffy maintenance backlog by simplifying job assignments. Sending notifications directly to a worker closes gaps in communication, and it makes understanding responsibilities easier for employees regardless of working hours, location, or environment.
Imagine an employee in the field working far away from the home office. He’s in London, but his department lead back at the Los Angeles headquarters is eight hours — a full working day — ahead. Communicating by phone and email would be a communications nightmare! When the field operator needs to make contact about an important development, his supervisor is still in bed. That delay in decision-making means that tasks cannot be completed quickly. Time-to-decision soars, productivity drops, and performance suffers.
With task management software, teams can work together without scheduling a phone call or waiting for an email. Everything can be done from a single online hub where individuals can asynchronously log in, view, and complete tasks. Meanwhile, management can oversee the entire operation, ensuring work is performed on time and according to specification.
The benefits of task management
Organizations that utilize software integrations dramatically cut downtime and superchange the efficiency of day-to-day operations. Other benefits include improvements like these:
- Higher productivity — Task management assigns the right jobs to the right people. This keeps specialized assignments in the hands of expert personnel, improving confidence and the speed with which tasks are completed.
- Streamlined processes — Routine tasks such as form data input can be automated with pre-populated fields, while historical data can be added to tasks and data tables imported to save time
- Simple access to information — Individuals can log in to a central database to view assigned jobs and access all of the information needed to complete a task
- Better accountability — Task management solutions give managers the ability to monitor performance and identify bottlenecks from the top level. All users within the system can be assigned individual roles and made accountable for tasks
- Audit trails — Who, when, where, and what tasks were assigned and carried out is all logged in a single database. Supervisors can easily pull reports to analyze and improve performance
- Defined tasks — Tasks can be assigned to particular individuals, groups, or divisions ensuring full clarity as to what needs to be done
- Remote working — with everything accessible via mobile or desktop at any time and from anywhere in the world, individuals can easily carry out tasks during hours suitable to them
How to use task management software
It’s already evident from these benefits that digital task management can dramatically improve performance. However, not all software is created equally. When choosing a task management solution, it’s recommended that you opt for a solution that integrates with your current IT infrastructure. This will help you speed up the onboarding process and allow individuals and departments to quickly start reaping the rewards.
At the management level, software should be used to:
- Automate tasks — Evaluate your current workflow and identify where automation can improve performance and productivity. For instance, safety inspections might utilize pre-populated form data, where contact information and financial details could automatically fill so that only dynamic information requires input. Create and assign user roles for better organization and fast task assignment. Establish rights and permissions so that users stay on task and access only the information they need. Finally, set up email alerts so that users are clear on schedules and deadlines.
- Analyze data for improved performance — Use your software to break down the data, track work performance, and see where improvements can be made. Pull custom quantitative reports and dig deep into your organization to see what’s working and what isn’t. The information collected from workers in the field is critical to making incremental gains towards tighter performance and and bigger profits.
The internet is increasingly driving business models. It makes sense that many organizations are stepping into the future with online task management solutions that connect employees, speed up processes, and increase performance.