Business success comes down to many factors. However, you might be surprised to find that close to half of all small businesses fail within the first two years.
Staff productivity is one of the key factors that can help a small business grow and protect it from failure. But how do you optimize productivity among employees? The answer isn't always simple, and it varies depending on the business.
However, there are tips that can help small business owners increase staff productivity. This post will provide a few strategies you can deploy to make your employees more productive.
Start With Hiring and Onboarding
Your hiring practices can go a long way toward creating a more efficient team. To start, you are not hiring resumes. A person's education and work history can indicate whether they are a good fit, but there's more to it than that. You also need to vet them in the interview and make sure they match the company culture.
Along with that, you need to onboard people the right way. Take the time to integrate them with the company and get them up to speed. A good onboarding process sets new employees up for success. Combined with better hiring practices, it can also ensure a lower turnover rate. With a more stable staff over a longer time, your employees will grow more effective as a team.
Implement Productivity Apps
An organized workflow is vital for companies trying to reach peak efficiency. There are many tools and tactics that can help you optimize workflows. One effective way to organize workflows is to use productivity and collaboration apps. These apps allow you to create projects with various tasks and add multiple team members to work together. When used properly, it can keep everyone on the same page and moving toward the same goal.
Communication practices are also crucial for a company striving to maximize productivity. Various methods of communication might offer value. You might make phone calls, text each other, send emails, or use group chats. While all of these channels might have value, you also want them to work together. Managers also need to make sure they are selecting the right communication tools.
According to an expert from Spike, a communication and teamwork app, "Businesses need to be careful when selecting communications platforms. You need to understand what you are trying to achieve and find a platform with the right features. Managers may also need to brief employees on the app, its features, and how the company wants to use it."
Trust Your Employees
Too many managers believe they need to always have their eyes on employees and micromanage their tasks. An overbearing management style can actually slow employees down. For many workers, it not only slows them down, but it also erodes motivation. Set goals and make expectations clear, but trust employees to do their jobs. That way, managers can focus on the higher-level tasks. If you're hiring and onboarding well, it shouldn't be a problem.
Offer Flexible Work Arrangements
Are you focusing on hours in the office or output? Managers and owners should assess their employees more on how well they achieve goals than how much time they spend at their desks. If you trust your employees to get the job done, you can allow them to have a little more freedom and flexibility. As long as you have hired well, it will result in happier employees who are more productive.
One example could be to allow for some remote work. You could set a certain number of office hours per week with some allowance for working from home. Recent history has shown that remote workers can be just as productive as office employees. However, that freedom can increase happiness and loyalty.
Align Incentives With Productivity
Offering competitive salaries and benefits should go without saying. However, you could use various incentives to boost productivity. Cash bonuses for performance are an obvious answer. You could also offer additional paid days off for getting ahead of schedule on projects. Performance-based competitions with prizes can also boost productivity. Offering team incentives can be especially effective. With a team incentive, everyone will work harder to ensure they all reach the goal together.
Ask for Ideas
Initiatives don't always have to come from the top. Your employees are the ones doing the work every day, so they might see opportunities for improvement that you don't. If you want to optimize productivity, you should encourage your team to step forward with ideas. Let them know there are no bad ideas, and you're willing to hear anything.
When ideas do come your way, give them an honest examination. Consider ways they could be implemented and the effects they might have. If you see promise, hold a meeting to discuss the idea with other employees. They might have insights as well.
Your employees can be your most valuable resource-you just need to learn how to get the most from them. Experiment with these tips to maximize productivity and find what works best for your company.