Two Silent Killers of your Business: Poor Communication and Excessive Paperwork
How did Nokia – a once leading mobile manufacturer, fall behind in its market and have to struggle from then on, to come up again?
How did the mighty British Petroleum company have to deal with a severe environmental crisis, which went on to become a major PR crisis as well?
The answer to both these questions is “poor communication” or a lack of effective communication. The first silent killer of your business!
According to a detailed analysis of what went wrong with Nokia, and why it is struggling now to convert its many good ideas into successful products, their major problem lies in their habits of communication. They sat through several, pointless strategy discussions over clearly cut out plans about introducing new phone models in the market.
As for British Petroleum, their 2010 Deepwater Horizon Offshore Oil rig disaster, was largely due to “poor communications” and a failure to “share important information”, as per a report on the White House Commission.
These examples show just how important having an effective communication system is in any organization, especially in the field service industry.
Lack of Proper Communication affects Employee Morale
Information has to be conveyed to the right people at the right time, whether it is an email to the manager, or a phone call to postpone the date of an order. Irrespective of the severity of the miscommunication, it will definitely drain the productivity and efficiency of an organization.
Besides that, lack of proper communication can affect employee morale. A collaborative and communicative work environment can boost employee productivity and promote creativity. On the contrary, poor communication can lead to lack of enthusiasm in doing assignments and hinder innovations.
“The effectiveness of communication depends on the relevance of the message, the time it is conveyed in, the person it is conveyed to and the means or method through which it is conveyed.”
Managers and leaders who can effectively manage the flow of communication in an organization, know, that they need to follow a certain set of practices and communication methods – ones that enable them to get closer to employees. They engage employees by encouraging them to take active part in the communication process. They also make sure that their communication efforts are in alignment with the organizational strategy.
The Second Silent Killer
The average American office worker is said to be using around 10,000 sheets of paper on an annual basis. That is to say, if your business has around 20 field representatives and 5 back office managers, that’s 250,000 per year. That’s a rough base for how much your business would be spending on paper every year, not to mention the printing costs as well. The average cost of printing a page comes to over three cents, so you can do the math right?
Apart from these, there are the storage costs. You need to store all of these documents, in an age where filing cabinets are expensive and take up valuable office space too.
Yes! Excessive paperwork could be the second silent killer of your business.
Several surveys have in fact revealed that switching from paper to electronic forms allows business owners to concentrate more on their revenues, as their entire organization spends much less time handling physical documents. On an average, making forms electronic apparently saves about 11 hours of work time per week for employees and about six hours for business owners.
Imagine the time that could be saved and used for doing more important work, that your field agents usually spend doing paperwork?
Apart from consuming time, manual paperwork can lead to errors, misplaced or missing sheets or forms and inaccurate reporting, all causing undue issues in your business. Unsatisfied customers and staff can in turn, affect your profitability and business position.
If your business relies heavily on paperwork or has issues with poor communication, it’s time to change. Go digital. That said, spreadsheets or excel aren’t the proper automation tools, not even for small sized businesses most of the time. If your employees spend over 4 hours daily managing excels for multiple processes, it’s time for you to move into a software solution to automate those. The solution can either be an advanced free tool or custom software according to your preferences.
Finding the perfect digital automation solution for your business involves a lot of calculations and considerations, for which you might want to seek help from experts. Should you feel the need for the same, our experienced automation professionals can help provide the right advice plus the right solution for your business processes.