workplace Archives - SourceMatch

Fix inefficiency at work

Fix Inefficiency at work in 5 Steps

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To be efficient at work, you need many avenues for the various day-to-day operations and tasks that may be assigned to you. Here are some practical ways to stay on track:

1. Plan ahead
Are you and your team prepared for the day, week, and month? Is there clear guidance for what you will be taking care of? What about the projects and daily tasks that need to be handled? Don’t fret, there are some simple ways to stay on task and keep your team on task (without annoying everyone). Use a platform for open communication and establish guidelines upfront. No one wants to be surprised with something they didn’t know or weren’t aware of. By setting the expectations upfront and providing clear guidelines, you will prevent misunderstandings and mishandlings.
Allow the team to have a plan and ask your team how much time you need and they need to complete “X” tasks.

2. Ask questions
Always allow your team to have a voice. By asking questions and allowing the team to ask questions, you give way to open communication and set a tone of acceptance. Never scold or demean a team member, even if you are frustrated. It could be due to the lack of item #1 (above), wrong assumptions, or unclear expectations. By setting an example and making sure your team asks for assistance, you can alleviate any misunderstandings about how efficient you or your team are.

3. Set the tone for “open communication”
To fix efficiency at work, allow for open communication, and with that, make it manageable. No one wants to constantly be told what to do. By allowing open communication with clear expectations, you can fix many efficiency problems. To start, have an open communication channel and also allow your team to ask for help as needed. Sometimes, if you are not heading down the right path, this channel can steer you back to what is necessary to complete your company’s goals. For example, if you have an assistant who doesn’t seem to be working efficiently, have this person explain her plan to complete the tasks you need assistance with. Make sure this person knows that you are available for help, and when the item is due.

4. Update your technology
For some reason, we tend to think last of technology when considering efficiency. However, one cannot be more in a hurry when the tools are obsolete, overworked, and probably way past their reasonable use. When you have essential business processes that can benefit from newer technology, it’s time to do something about it. This can lead to huge time savings.
A couple of action points you could take: first, write down the technology you are currently using, review each component and check if they are working well for the intended business processes. Second, assess the time and cost savings that could result from upgrading each technology component, making a comparison with the cost of upgrading. And third, research new technologies with the highest potential to make a positive impact: are there any new hardware or software tools that could help you do things better, faster, or even automate things altogether?

5. Fix errors
Studies show that 37% of workers say their workday is wasted trying to fix other people’s mistakes. This not only wastes your employees’ time and productivity but can escalate and lead to unhappy customers. First things first: get to the bottom of it and identify the source of error. Then find out the most common reasons why this error happens. And the last step is to discuss with experts in your team the topic of how to reduce the number of errors and create action points to implement ideas they’ve suggested.
Let’s keep in mind that errors happen, however, we have to do our best to proactively prevent them in order to save time, money, and unnecessary stress.

As you think about these 5 areas, realize that communication is the best way to keep an engaged, efficient, and happy team.
What has been your experience with inefficiency at work and how did you approach the situation?


technology in recruiting

Technology in Recruiting – save time and Money Without Losing the Human Touch

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While technology continues to advance, companies will have to keep the human touch, in regards to the workplace. Finding and retaining the right talent depends on many key factors. Those factors include: finding a candidate that matches the company culture, using the right platform to find those candidates, and keeping up with technological advances, in regards to recruiting.

Which Recruiting Company Will Find for you the Right Talent?

Many recruiting companies offer different types of deals and platforms to find candidates. Some will send you resumes to sort through, some will narrow down your search, and others will use both technology and holistic approaches to find the right candidate. It’s important to take this into account when deciding which company to use. Would you like a short term employee or long term? Would you like to spend time interviewing or have a recruiting company do that legwork for you? How vast is that company’s lens in regards to finding candidates? You have to consider all these questions.

What Types of Technological Resources do Recruiting Companies Have?

There are many different types of websites and software programs that recruiting companies can utilize to reach out to candidates. SourceMatch uses these sources, not just one, to find the best candidates for a certain role. After that, SourceMatch provides even more assessments, to learn about this candidate. We offer skills assessments as well as behavior-based assessments. Using these tools, SourceMatch aligns the top candidates to your company’s open role. We take pride in matching a workplace culture to an applicant’s style of working.

How Does Big Data Play a Role?

Big data plays a role in a company’s hiring process. According to entrepreneur.com: “Earlier, companies had little to guide them on a potential applicant’s future flight risk other than gut feeling. Now, tools integrated with artificial intelligence (AI) and deep analytic capabilities can parse the data on your company’s current employees — including their prior experiences, skills and latest achievements — to learn what good candidates look like based on past hiring decisions. In addition to your own enterprise data, AI can look at data from across the industry to build a profile that can then be applied to cull resumes, screen candidates based on warning signs, and grade and rank a shortlist of qualified candidates for each job opening.” Technology is very much integrated into recruiting. At SourceMatch, we actually use a unique combination of technology and workplace culture matches. We identify each client’s needs and work together to assess and identify the best talent.

Understanding How Culture and Technology Work Together in Recruiting

We incorporate culture and technology in recruiting practices. It takes a balance of knowing the advancing technologies available, and how to incorporate those while recruiting. According to forbes.com: “When newly hired executives leave after a relatively short period of time, the reason is rarely that they lacked the technical skills to deliver on the job. More often, it’s because they struggled to form relationships within the company or lacked cultural compatibility.” That being said, knowing your clients and staying up to date with current technology, can benefit both recruiters and employers. Recruiters can utilize social media and other recruiting platforms, while also getting to know more about their clients and candidates. This allows for the correct “pairing” of the candidate with the client’s organization.

How Social Media can Help the Recruiting Process

Many recruiters have seen the benefits of using social media to find candidates. You can learn about communication and personality, as well as some work history (if listed). You have people sharing job openings through social media as well as recruiters reaching out to candidates via social media. According to entrepreneur.com: “Employers from different industries have reported over 30% increase in the referral candidate counts via social media recruiting techniques. Industry recruiters have always preferred the candidates referred by existing employees, and social media helps them engage in referral recruitment easily.”

The Pros and Cons of an Automated Hiring Process

Technology can make the hiring process more effective for both candidates and recruiters. Candidates can now search and apply for many jobs rather than filling out applications and dropping them off at the front desk. This benefits candidates and employers in regards to saving time, but it can take away from the “human” interaction aspects. Technology can also help “weed” out incorrect candidates at a much faster rate, leading recruiters to the best candidates, sooner. On the other hand, keeping a more personal, human approach helps both recruiters and candidates find the best job. A person may look good on paper, but that person may not fit in the work culture of a certain position or workplace. Knowing both the personality of the candidates, as well as the culture of the workplace, give recruiters the ultimate advantage.

Keeping the Human Touch in Recruiting

To keep a human approach in recruiting, companies can either hire internally, use personality assessments, or reach out to recruiting companies that use more than AI. Hiring internally gives employees and employers opportunities for growth. Employees know that there is room for growth and employers have the time to learn about their employees. Using personality assessments gives employees and employers knowledge about where they fit in the company work culture. This can boost employee and employer confidence in job roles and relations. Using a recruiting partner, companies can learn about new models of finding the right candidates and fix any retention related issues. This is great for companies that have noticed human or workplace-related concerns, along with high turnover.

Diversity Inclusion

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Creating a diverse workplace definitely pays off. These recruitment statistics show that the top reasons companies focus on creating a diverse workplace are statistically connected to the benefits that come with it. Firstly, diversity improves company culture as reported by 78% of respondents. Secondly, it improves company performance at least according to 62% of the surveyed lot. And thirdly, a percentage of 49 of respondents said they incorporate diversity in their business so they can be more relatable to their clients.

Business leaders might want to better relate to customers because of the benefits it brings. McKinsey’s research on the link between company financial performance and ethnic, cultural, and gender diversity finds that companies in the top quartile for gender or racial and ethnic diversity are more likely to have financial returns above their national industry medians. In this case, some might want to look into ways of integrating into their organization people with different cultural backgrounds that would match the cultural dimensions of the business clientele. With regards to improving company performance, the same study pointed out that diversity is a competitive differentiator that is shifting market share toward more diverse companies. The analysis of the data revealed a positive relationship between financial performance and greater diversity in leadership. The reason for this might be because the more diverse a company is the better it is to improve employee satisfaction and thus decision making.

In conclusion, although improving organizational culture through variety might be difficult, it is well worth it. It might be hard to achieve a cohesive one direction oriented group with people from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds because of unconscious bias, but companies that manage to do it are also able to achieve a global mindset and cultural fluency which in turn translates into higher profit.



Common Causes of Inefficiency at the Workplace

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There are books written about the subject, but we will only touch on 8 causes that we believe have the most negative impact on workplace efficiency:

Poor fit between the person, the position and the organization.

It’s no secret that companies make poor hiring decisions all the time. As an employer, you owe it to your employees to be transparent. Talk to them about how they feel about their job, how well they think they’re doing, and even be ready to work out a transition plan into a different position. It might be their strength aren’t aligned with their current role. There’s no reason why they or the organization should continue to pretend all is well.

A disconnect between cause and effect, work and outcome.

We tend to “give work” to our teams and expect them to understand the effect it will have on the organization down the line. However, when we tie outcome to work/input, it helps people understand the value of their work in the final product or service and give them a sense of urgency and importance. It can easily be explained by asking one simple question: “what would happen to the product/service if you stopped doing what you’re doing?”

Lack of clarity regarding how responsibility is assigned

Have you ever had to complain about something over to customer support and were passed on to the next “representative” for a solution, or told that “it’s out of our hands?” That’s what lack of clarity regarding responsibility looks like. In an organization where people have no idea who is responsible for what, or even worse, know they are responsible but they will pass it on anyhow, inefficiency reins!
Responsibility needs to be assigned to people in the organization to the extent of roles – i.e. if someone is responsible to deliver a service and misses a deadline, then that’s their responsibility entirely. If they miss it twice, then it’s the manager’s responsibility. If the manager doesn’t feel compelled to address the issue, neither will their report.
Assign responsibility and hold people accountable for the quality of their work!

Nepotism – it doesn’t matter how well I do if I’m not among the preferred

Unfortunately, there are still businesses that are run through nepotism. That is gross favoritism towards people who are close to a decision maker, someone of influence or importance in the company. It’s one of the common causes of inefficiency because people all of a sudden compare their work, results, and reward to the ones of those being favored.
Any organization that doesn’t quantify and award effort according to clear criteria will suffer from inefficiency at the workplace.

Absence of feedback

There’s a direct connection between inefficiency and lack (or poor) of feedback. The unwritten rule is that what is encouraged is repeated. Managers who say anything about how well or poorly someone on their team is doing are in fact encouraging similar results. Constructive feedback requires clarity through facts and willingness to make someone (as well as yourself) feel uncomfortable. If it’s provided within the mind-frame of genuine care for the growth, and professional development of people, it can improve their performance and engagement too!

Deficiency in communication

Perhaps the most widespread of the causes of workplace inefficiency is a lack or poor quality in communication. It will affect people’s capacity to quantify how well they are doing, understanding of whether their efforts have any impact, and to act in due time to have any positive impact. It also causes frustration with the people a company needs to care about most (disclosure: not nepotism!) – those who want to work, be in time, have good results and want their job to be rewarding.

Time management

Of course, we all have 24h, and regardless of how we manage it, that doesn’t change. Leaders and especially managers have the responsibility of setting the importance and priority of projects, tasks, etc. (see the Eisenhower Matrix). Efficiency comes down to achieving your objectives with the least amount of time. The better the time management, the more efficient we are, and the more engaged we are.

Wasteful processes

We all follow steps and procedures as they are laid out in our organization’s processes. These are tremendous tools that used in the right order and provided enough attention will create the desired outcomes. However, when processes are the result of operational inertia, they can have a highly detrimental effect on an organization’s efficiency. Worst case scenarios include bottlenecks, redundancy, and misalignment. In other words, inefficiency.

All of these have deep roots in leadership but ultimately can be traced back to an organization’s mission, culture, and values. If the only purpose of a business is to create profit, then one must integrate into that equation the means to sustain and increase efficiency in the workplace!