Workflows are usually disregarded by most companies as many managers do not understand the advantages workflows can have on the business. But how can workflows help your small business?
First we need to look at the question: what is a workflow? A progression of activities that make up a work process. They define how certain processes are performed in a business. They are building blocks to a successful business. Workflows can be divided into two groups:
- Sequential workflows mean that each task needs to be completed before the next task can be done and there is no going back to the start of the workflow.
- Parallel workflows mean that some of the tasks can happen at the same time during the process.
How can workflows help your small business?
They give more insight towards your business processes
By writing down step by step what each process involves in your business, you can gain a top level view of your business. You can make sure the processes are delivering the results you require and you can assess if they need to be changed. These insights will help guide how you improve your processes which in the long run will improve your bottom line – profits.
They help to reduce redundancy
When you go through your processes you can see where people are doing actions which are repetitive or not needed. By removing these steps, you can streamline your business for better efficiency.
They minimise the need for micromanagement
Everyone hates to be micromanaged and this is one of the leading causes of employees being unhappy at work or leaving their jobs. By having workflows in place, you make your employees accountable for their jobs and they don’t need to be micromanaged. They have a clear idea of what actions are expected from them, who is responsible for the various actions in the process and when the actions should be completed by.
They improve communication
Often in business there is a miscommunication between employees or departments. When you have a workflow in place the communication improves. Employees have a visible representation of actions that need to take place for the process and who is accountable for each of the actions. This ensures that the day-to-day tasks run more smoothly.
They help to improve customer service
Customer services does not only lie with the interaction between the customer service agent and the customer but it also lies with everyone who works behind the scenes. When you have a workflow, you will actively be able to ensure that each customer receives a similar level of service and attention. This consistency will improve the brand’s image.
They assist in improving the quality of your service or product
When you have worked out your workflows for the different processes in your business, you may decide to automate some of them. This will help to eliminate the chance of human error. Furthermore, when you know the steps in a process you can make sure you assign the employee with the right skills for the process. This will improve efficiency and job satisfaction.
They reduce the time for on-boarding new employees
When you have workflows, you will be able to reduce the time it takes to teach the new employee about the processes in your business. You can give them a manual with the step-by-step processes. This will save time when you get a new employee.
By implementing workflows into your business, you will ensure that your employees are accountable for their work and you will be able to ensure that your product and service is consistent.
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