Is Your Association Working at Maximum Efficiency? 


March 23, 2023

True or false: Working on a project all day means you’ve had a productive day.

False. Author Harvey Mackay states don’t equate activity with efficiency, so, just because you have a full schedule doesn’t mean that you’ve been productive.

As a leader within an association, it may be time to look around and determine how your teams are doing with work productivity and time management, as an inefficient organization can cost time and money that could be better spent elsewhere.

Spending long hours working, but not making the best of the time, leads to work burnout and low job satisfaction. And this doesn’t even include the missed deadlines, frustrations, and your employees always looking to see if it’s 5 o’clock. Nobody wants this for any organization, and there’s a lot that can be done to help cope with these factors. So, let's explore a few tips on how you can help your team(s) become more efficient within the workplace.

  • Streamline Processes: The first step in making your association more efficient is to streamline processes and eliminate redundant tasks. Ask yourself if a particular task needs to be done, and if not, consider eliminating it from the workflow. Try to simplify processes and make them easier for everyone involved. Automation is also helpful; there are many tools available that can help automate repetitive tasks such as scheduling meetings or sending out emails.

  • Discourage Multitasking: The American Psychological Association states that multitasking does not lead to more productivity. In fact, the opposite occurs. When individuals rotate between tasks frequently, they actually get less completed than someone who works at one task at a time. If the goal is productivity and efficiency, then multitasking cannot be a part of it.

  • Eliminate Distractions: Your team(s) can have the best plan of action for the day laid out, but distractions will always come and go. As a leader, it’s your goal to try to eliminate as many potential distractions as possible for your team. Have them focus on one task without having to look at emails, answer the phones, or have someone walk into their office. With everything digital these days, it’s easy for people to convince themselves that they must be ready to jump to an urgent message, but that’s not the case. Things and situations can wait – time is of the essence.

  • Delegate Tasks: Another way to become more efficient is to delegate tasks among staff members who have the appropriate skillset and experience. This allows your staff members to specialize in specific areas, which will allow them to work faster and more efficiently than if they were trying to do everything themselves. Also, delegating tasks reduces the workload on individual staff members by distributing it among multiple people.

  • Embrace Technology: Technology has advanced significantly over the past few years and can be used to optimize existing processes within your association. By taking advantage of cloud technologies such as SharePoint, Google Drive, or Dropbox, you can streamline communication between departments and ensure that all stakeholders always have access to up-to-date information. Additionally, embracing technological solutions such as video conferencing and online collaboration tools can help reduce travel costs associated with events or conference calls.

  • Take Breaks: Don’t allow your employees to push through the entire day without looking up from their desk, as this will only lead to exhaustion and burnout. A study in Cognition shows that short breaks can help people focus better and continue working hard at their current task for longer. To remain energized throughout the day, take breaks often – start with a five-minute break every hour and see the improvements.

Helping your team(s) find the ideal balance between efficiency and workload is the first step, as making sure your association is running at maximum efficiency is essential for ensuring its long-term success. Streamlining processes, delegating tasks among staff members, and embracing technology are just a few ways that you can optimize the efficiency of your organization. It won’t happen overnight, but with practice – which creates habit – your team(s) can become unstoppable.

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