Inefficient working practices can have a powerful influence on the success of your organisation. Even seemingly small individual examples of loss — a few minutes of time, a couple of raw materials, a member of staff resigning occasionally — can have a significant cumulative impact. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to adopt actions that minimise loss.
This week’s article is written by the wonderful Katie Brenneman. Thank you, Katie, for writing this for me.
While individual actions can be positive, you’re likely to find that meaningful collaboration has a greater impact. When staff members are engaged in identifying loss and developing solutions, there can be positive outcomes for everyone involved.
But what aspects of collaboration can effectively support loss prevention? Let’s take a closer look.
Utilising Shared Expertise.
Expertise is one of the most valuable resources at your business’ disposal. Indeed, this is one of the compelling reasons to develop a diverse employee base. With workers who have a variety of experiences, your company has access to a wider range of perspectives and skills. The potential to share this expertise can be particularly valuable for improving efficiency through collaborative loss prevention practices.
This is because the causes of loss stem from a variety of influencers. Often, there are vulnerabilities within the operations of the business that result in long-term leakage. There can be errors as a result of incorrect technology use or ineffective staff training practices. Given that loss sources can be nuanced, involving multiple areas of expertise in addressing this can mean you can be more thorough and creative in identifying them and finding solutions.
One of the ways to enhance the loss prevention value of shared expertise is to involve all staff members. This doesn’t just have to centre on the analysis of current or past issues. Premortem brainstorming sessions can be invaluable tools for identifying potential problems and planning against them before they occur. In essence, your staff will be collaborating on imagining scenarios in which failures might occur and using their shared expertise to realistically establish what the root causes and influences are likely to be. With this knowledge in hand, they can then collaborate on process improvements.
Identifying and Addressing Loss in Real Time.
Planning ahead for loss prevention is undoubtedly essential. However, there will be times when issues slip through the cracks of your well-laid strategies. This is another area in which a collaborative approach tends to be positively impactful. By involving all members of staff in this process, they can effectively identify and address the signs of loss in real-time.
Indeed, this is one of the tactics that are recognised to minimise operational delays. In many instances, the delays and disruptions that lead to loss are caused by internal errors such as breakdowns of key equipment, a lack of skilled project personnel, and poor communication. Alongside steps such as optimising communication and creating contingency plans, you can manage time and efficiency losses by constantly monitoring operations and making improvements as problems or changes arise.
Your collaborative approach can include:
- Training employees on the real-time warning signs of inefficiency and other forms of loss. This may be lapses in equipment performance, colleague and leadership behaviour, missing information or files, and repetitive tasks, among others. This training should also include discussing current signs with other colleagues to verify their presence and potential impact before acting.
- Collecting and sharing data. Utilising data capture and analytics tools can be a powerful part of loss identification. This may include sensors connected to devices in the Internet of Things (IoT) throughout the workplace combined with data analytics software. Importantly, sharing this data not just with department heads but all staff ensures more eyes are able to spot potential issues.
Cultivating a Collaborative Environment.
Alongside putting in place formal measures to boost joint efforts in loss prevention, your company also needs to focus on making your company a place for teamwork to thrive. By continually cultivating a collaborative environment, you’re setting a strong foundation with which to build your tactics and processes. In essence, this makes collaborative loss prevention a more integrated part of your company culture.
Some of the ways you can best shape this type of environment include:
- Adopt collaborative tools. Part of cultivating a collaborative environment is to invest in equipment that makes working together easier. This can include effective communication platforms that encourage colleagues to interact no matter where they’re working. It may involve project management software that enables everyone to see details of one another’s tasks and ensure the current workflow is supporting productivity.
- Recognise teamwork successes. When employees see that their efforts to collaborate — on loss prevention and other tasks — are appreciated by leaders and colleagues, this can encourage more of the same. Send a message that teamwork is a priority. Make certain that there are regular opportunities to highlight and celebrate collaboration, including rewards, perks, and peer recognition.
- Make collaborations central to all operations. Design your workflows to emphasise the value of working together. Collaborate with other businesses by sharing effective audit practices and loss threat information. The more you can make collaboration integral to what your business does, the more naturally you can foster it in all areas of operations.
Collaborative loss prevention can ensure your business has a more thorough and agile approach to improving efficiency. Certainly, the practical advantages of shared expertise and employee vigilance have a lot to do with this. However, it’s also worth considering that the emotional boost of teamwork can give your employees greater motivation to contribute to process improvements that make for a more positive working culture. Therefore, it’s important to keep assessing not just where the prevalent areas of loss in your organisation are but also how your approach to teamwork might be influencing these.
Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specialising in lifestyle, mental health, education, and fitness-related content. When she isn’t writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog, Charlie. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter.
Thank you for reading my stories! 😊 If you enjoyed this article, hit those clapping hands below many times👏 It would mean a lot to me, and it helps other people see the story.
If you would like to receive the best productivity and time management tips and tricks each week in one convenient email, you can subscribe to my weekly newsletter here.
You can also learn more about what I do here on my website