3 Internal Tools to Improve the Efficiency of Your Business
Every company has room to improve internally. Whether it may be improving communication between team members, holding each other accountable for tasks, or maximizing productivity, there are several internal tools that companies can use to stay connected and improve their team’s efficiency.
Here are a few vital tools our team uses on a weekly basis:
Staying organized is essential to maintaining workplace efficiency, especially as your company continues to grow and onboard new team members. Asana is a digital tool that turns running “to-do” lists into actionable items and casual conversations into next steps, without missing a beat. Asana is an organization tool that employees use to manage their weekly workflow, gain insight into the status of client projects, and hold their team accountable for tasks without having to schedule a meeting.
How it works:
Within Asana, each user can create tasks directly onto their individual dashboard or assign tasks to one of their teammates by going to that team member’s dashboard. Within each task, users can set aggressive deadlines, upload attachments from their computer or Google Drive, and create sub-tasks to break up the work into smaller parts or divide the work among multiple people.
As the creator of a task, you’re able to add team members as followers to the task so that they can receive notifications on any update made within it. As a follower, you’re able to leave comments directly onto the task and tag other team members within comments to ensure that they get notified. Asana also has a “heart” feature that signifies team members that they have received or seen the most recent comment, to ensure that no comment goes unseen.
Asana keeps team members in sync, enabling them to organize each of their tasks and carry out projects from start to finish without any action item slipping through the cracks.
Having a strong pulse on your team’s performance is critical to the success of your company. Not only is it important to keep the team aligned and on track with the company’s goals, but it is also important to ensure that your employees are challenging themselves and excelling within their position without any issues. 15Five is a performance management tool that gives managers visibility into their team’s wins and hardships each week, in real-time, and creating a weekly communication routine between managers and their employees.
How it works:
The 15Five check-in is one aspect of the tool that allows executive members and managers to get a pulse on their team’s morale and gain visibility into their workflow. Within this tool there are dozens of curated questions for managers to choose from, allowing them to prioritize questions according to business trends or cultural changes, or select the same questions to ask week over week.
Team members are notified through an automated email letting them know when it’s time to fill out the weekly check-in, and its short answer format is designed to only take a maximum of 15-minutes to fill out. Once a team member submits their response, the form is passed up the ladder to be reviewed by a manager or executive member. The person reviewing the report is then able to reply directly onto their employees’ form, opening the dialogue up and creating a meaningful conversation.
Not only does 15Five allow team members to touch base without the time commitment or the pressure of a one-on-one meeting, but it also improves company morale by encouraging employees to celebrate their team’s wins and give each other “high fives.” The high-five feature within 15Five allows users to recognize their teammates and give them a shout out that everyone in the company can see.
If your company is lacking the communication or insight into your team’s workflow, this management tool is an easy and efficient way to realign your team’s workflow and open the dialogue between executive members, managers, and team members, to prevent unexpected issues from arising.
Tracking your team’s hours and monitoring the amount of time they spend on tasks is near to impossible without a time tracking tool to help you. HourStack allows teams to maximize productivity by tracking the amount of time each team member is spending on projects, in real-time. Its time tracking software gathers data from multiple users and identifies inefficiencies within your team’s workflow, giving companies the opportunity to improve utilization across each department.
How it works:
Within HourStack, each user has access to their individual dashboard, as well as other team members’ dashboards, to gain visibility into what their teammates are working on, in real-time. Each week, a new dashboard is created and users can allocate time for upcoming projects and prioritize their tasks according to custom labels and projects. For example, client work verses internal work.
As one our team members said, “Hourstack helps my team stay organized with their workflow and gives us visibility so that we can find ways to improve efficiencies.”
HourStack tracks the amount of time spent on tasks and generates the data it pulls from each team member’s dashboard into a monthly report. The report pulls easily digestible metrics using pie charts and graphs, allowing team members to visualize the data and making it easier for them to analyze. From there, you are able to identify inefficiencies within your team’s workflow and make changes within your company accordingly.
Asana, 15Five, and HourStack aren’t tools that are meant to micromanage your team, rather, they’re internal tools created to help companies stay organized and not let any action item slip through the cracks, improve communication and celebrate your team’s wins, and gain insight into your team’s workflow and improve inefficiencies.