By: First Union
How Have Businesses Become More Efficient?
The pandemic changed a lot of things about the world at large, perhaps nothing was more significantly changed however than how we do business. Companies found themselves having to rapidly pivot in terms of everything from processes to how they communicated. Many of the changes that companies underwent were necessary at the time, and yet many such changes have become permanent. As a result, businesses are experiencing greater efficiency overall. So while the catalyst for revamping how they operated wasn't a desirable one by any means, the outcome, in many instances, has been quite positive. In this article, we take a look at just a few of the ways that businesses have become more efficient as spurred by a global pandemic.
Seven Ways Businesses Have Become Faster and More Efficient
- Decisions happen faster now. Faced with the unknown, business owners and leaders had to make decisions quickly—about major points. Everything from streamlining presentations and meetings to reducing the number of people who have a vote, companies have come to reprioritize. Those at the top are tasked now with fewer noncritical decisions, leaving them to focus on big picture items that affect the company long term as we move through this pandemic.
Not to mention, the concept of timelines has changed. One popular mantra since the beginning of this crisis that has emerged: "quarterly is the new annual." Whereas year-long projects and timely decisions have been put on hyperdrive.
- Employees are increasingly responsible for execution. Given the abrupt switch to remote work culture, gone are the days of micromanaging. While certainly communicating and ensuring everyone is on the same page is especially important during this time, managers have been finding that they have to let go of the reins more often than not and let their frontline workers execute and consequently deliver.
This of course has resulted in greater across the board efficiency. Now increasingly, everyone is more aware of what needs to be done. Those frontline employees are also closer to the customer. Plus, workers have become more empowered overall and with this enhanced sense of empowerment comes more investment in the company itself.
- There has been a rise in partnerships. And not only the number of partnerships established, but companies are also working with partners in new and innovative ways. Because of vast changes and the complexity of such changes, many companies struggled to adapt. For many, it was when they created key partnerships that they were able to efficiently navigate the pandemic climate.
We've thus seen an enhanced sense of trust, especially among small business owners. The "we're in this together" mantra did ring true as companies teamed up to continue to produce and deliver to the end-user.
- Smaller more agile teams rose to the occasion. Again, it has been all about streamlining and thereby staying nimble amid otherwise murky situations. To this end, businesses relied less on large, by-committee type processes and have been deploying scaled-down teams to tackle relevant issues at hand.
These smaller teams besides being more cost-effective overall were also able to adapt more efficiently to the situation with which they were presented. This also again speaks to the idea of decision making done faster. Of course, with fewer employees on a project, decision making tended to be a more seamless process.
- Hybrid works have contributed to greater efficiency. As we progressed through the pandemic, we saw a definitive shift in work. Employees are now more often than not working both from home and on-site. What we saw with remote work is that while a bit bumpy initially, as it became the norm, employees were happier—they were therefore more productive.
What's more, office/real estate costs have been dropping for many companies. This has allowed them to put money into other things and in the process, help make the business more efficient. And with the increase in collaboration tools and technology, communication has become better. Collaborative efforts are more dynamic and responsive.
- We're seeing the integration of more learning and training. Everyone needed training when this began, especially in terms of the technology that would be used to make the necessary adjustments. Learning and training have only increased and become even more central to how a company operates. Many businesses are investing more money into reskilling and upskilling their existing workforce as they prepare for the future.
Innovation is happening at a more rapid pace than we've ever seen before—this means employees need to be able to keep up. They need to become empowered in terms of using the tools and technology at their disposal. Learning and training programs in many cases are far more robust now than they were pre-pandemic.
- CEO/leadership roles are being reshaped daily. CEOs were faced with major challenges earlier this year. As a result, many became more active in the everyday dealings of the company. Many leaders found themselves acting as coaches to managers and employees. It was about keeping everyone energized and ensuring their teams worked as a cohesive unit.
CEOs also had to understand the feelings of uncertainty and fear that many of their team members felt and to this end, stronger bonds were created. The term Chief Empathizer became a common one. What resulted were more dynamic company cultures that successfully forged their way through the crisis.
First Union Lending is here to help! We've been working with small businesses during this difficult time. We are invested in our clients' success that is why we make the financing process fast and flexible. With short terms loans, lines of credit, and SBA loans among other products, we have a solution to suit your specific needs. No one size fits all approach with us. And you can use the funds for whatever you need: an expansion project, hiring on staff, or just weathering the storm. Call today!