Becoming More Sustainable Through Technology & OrganizationJune 19, 2019
This article is part of a series where we’re covering why sustainability in the workplace is so important and how you can be the leader for sustainability in your company. To learn about what sustainability in the workplace means you can read our first series post, How to Achieve Sustainability by Defining Your Workplace, here:
In this article, we’re exploring how you can create a cohesive organization structure and label your technology toolbox to facilitate workplace sustainability.
Many companies get so caught up in their daily work and trying to accomplish outward-facing deliverables that internal processes deemed “mundane” get swept under the rug. Things like labeling, naming conventions, and general organizational structures are often made up as people go along, however, taking the time to name items properly and create a hierarchy of file structures is exactly what will help people in your organization work smarter, not harder and expedite business growth.
Read on to get tips on sustainability through proper organization, technology, and labeling. We’ll teach you about sustainable practices in the workplace.
Start by Asking: Do Employees Have the Right Material and Equipment to Do Their Jobs?
Something that is so simple, yet can have a huge impact on businesses is whether employees have the proper resources to do their jobs effectively. Not having a coherent system of communication, computers to work on, or other people to work with (such as a fellow team member or contractor) can make or break a company’s productivity.
Try evaluating the current way your teams stay organized. Start making a list of what you already know about tools used, how files are organized, and key software. Already this will give you a good idea of what is currently being used and where there might be gaps or a mismatch. Then, send out a survey to managers and employees asking them things like:
- What tools do you use on a daily basis?
- How do you stay organized?
- Are there any tools you would like to try but have not yet been incorporated?
- What are the biggest hurdles to doing your job effectively?
You can analyze the results against that initial list you wrote out and see if anything you predicted was true if there was something you missed or both. This practice is meant to help give visibility into where there are areas for improvement in the business as far as being organized goes.
Assess Your Biggest Pain Points
When you perform this analysis of your company, what keeps showing up or stands out the most to you? It could be a group of employees complaining about the same thing, a lack of insight into specific departments operations, or something that surprised you that you would never have noticed yourself.
Looking at the biggest sources of contention and difficulty is a good place to start when you set out to become more streamlined and organized in your company. It gives you problems to solve, which can set the tone for how your label and organize the rest of the company.
Evaluate Your Technology Stack
In the digital age, technology plays a huge role in productivity and how companies operate. Have you known from day 1 of your business which technologies you were going to use or have employees organically used whatever technology works best for them?
A technology stack is basically a list of software and programming languages that all operate in one work environment cohesively, and play a large role in company scalability. It’s imperative that your company is being intentional right away with the technologies it decides to use. If a solid process has not already been established, don’t worry, it’s not too late to start.
The technologies your company uses depends on a number of factors, including:
- The size of the team
- The number of departments
- Type of industry
- Company budget
For example, if managing sales and customers is a large part of your business, a technology like Salesforce may be worth the investment to better manage the customer relationship. Alternatively, if your company is small and on a budget, you may be more inclined to go with low-cost or free technologies, like the GSuite.
This topic is important because more often than not, an instance will arise in a company where one manager prefers Google Hangouts, and another prefers Slack, which results in two teams using separate communication tools. In the end, this hurts business because teams are shut off from one another, which limits overall business visibility and can result in breakdowns in communication. It can also be stressful for leaders because having to constantly acclimate to the different tools different teams are using wastes so much time and feed confusion.
A software like Heartpace that takes care of any alignment issues within your company and will work toward putting employees on the same page in relation to overarching company goals. Learn more about it here.
As a company leader, organizing your business with intention is important so all company stakeholders can work seamlessly together. Deciding on a technology stack that can be applied globally across the organization and getting everyone on board is necessary for achieving sustainability in the workplace.
Create Labeling and Naming Conventions
Labeling? Naming conventions? Tags? Sounds kind of trivial, right? Well, believe it or not, these minor elements make workflows much more easy to follow, improve scalability, cut down on the time it takes to organize and find important files, and boost overall sustainability in the workplace.
What is a naming convention?
Naming conventions are a way of organizing files by words, numerals, or a combination of both to make information accessible. For example, under a ‘blog posts’ folder, you might use the naming convention date-title-author: 03/24/19-Sustainability-Series-John-Snow. You, of course, don’t have to use that exact structure but you get the idea. Naming every file under the same convention makes everything more clear.
When you set out creating standards for labels and naming conventions, you have to first take a step back and look at the way your company organizes itself as a whole. What does the structure currently look like versus where should it be in terms of tags and labels? Schedule a meeting key stakeholders in the business to get answers to these questions, as each team will have very specific needs.
In this meeting, you should map out together the best structure for the company starting at the top level and then give this structure to team leaders who can replicate it in their departments with employees according to their own needs. During this meeting, you should also set dates for deliverables and goals to make sure teams stay on track with getting themselves organized. At the end of this process, you can review the workplace sustainability policy implementation to see if there are any last items to fix.
We hope this article on sustainability in the workplace in regards to labeling and organization has been helpful and will help you in the road to becoming a more sustainable business.
The right software may be just the key you need to helping align your company and improving overall communication within the organization, thereby achieving sustainability in the workplace. Read more about our performance management and alignment software here and contact us today for a demo to see how it can improve your workplace.