When it comes to running a small business, nothing is more important than your employees. If you properly manage employees and keep them happy, their productivity will increase, ultimately resulting in growth for the whole business. Although keeping employees happy seems like a small task, it can actually be more complex than you originally thought. In order to keep the peace in your office, there are many small changes to your everyday workplace habits that can drastically improve levels of productivity and efficiency. Not only will your employees be able to get higher quality work done in a shorter period of time, but also you’ll reduce the overall amount of time spent on unnecessary or menial tasks. If you’re wondering where to start to improve your small business’ processes to maximize productivity, check out these tips:
With technology being at the focal point of our modern business world, social media and other websites can be a huge productivity killer. However, as much as you may want to implement one, it simply isn’t practical to implement a no-phone policy in this day and age. Rather than limiting internet privileges for your employees, focus on keeping them concentrated and engaged instead. Encourage your employees to turn mobile devices off during meetings and while completing important tasks, but to take mobile breaks to check their phones to avoid their constant usage. This will ensure that the time spent in meetings and at their desks is more productive.
Encourage Support and Set Realistic Goals
One common problem for managers within the small business world is having a lack of clear indication for how their employees are performing and how they are motivated. In the end, you can’t expect your employees to work their best if they don’t have a clear and attainable goal to strive for. Try to make your employees’ tasks as clear and narrow as possible to let them know exactly what it is that you’re expecting from them. Keep in mind also that it is important to tell them specifically what impact this assignment will have so their motivation stays elevated. One way to do this is to make sure your goals are “SMART”—specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Before assigning an employee a task, ask yourself if it fits each of these requirements. If not, ask yourself how the task can be tweaked to help your workers stay focused and efficient.
Offer Flexible Work Arrangements
Offering your employees the opportunity to work from home might seem inefficient at first—after all, how can you ensure that they will be focused and productive if no one is watching them? However, the reality is quite the opposite, with research showing that individuals who have the opportunity to work from home are 13% more productive than in-office employees. By allowing your employees to telecommute, you allow them to gain back time wasted on commuting. Offering flexible work arrangements gives your employees a better sense of work-life balance, ultimately increasing their happiness and likelihood of staying with your company.
Have the Best Tools Available
If you want your employees to get their work done more efficiently, you’ll need to have the most reliable tools possible. Switching to high-quality programs and equipment will make a big difference in your company’s processes and turnaround times. You can save your business time, money and effort by streamlining everything into a series of reliable technology through the cloud. Connecting all of your tools to the cloud makes choosing, installing and working within them a breeze. The cloud also increases your employees’ flexibility by allowing them to use any internet-connected device to conduct everyday work rather than being tied down to their desks. Voice over Internet Protocol, for example, allows your employees to take client calls on their computers or tablets by ditching traditional phone lines. This, among other tools, will allow your employees to get their work done on the run rather than worrying about waiting by their landlines all day.
Train and Develop Employees
When it comes to maximizing productivity, your initial instinct might be to assume that more time on the job automatically means more work done. However, if you don’t take the time to properly train and develop your employees, they likely will be less efficient. Instead of forcing your workers to haphazardly attempt to accomplish tasks with little guidance, take the extra time to teach them the necessary skills and the right way to do their job. Beyond initial training, encourage your employees to continue to develop and expand their skill sets all the time. You can do this through individual coaching, seminars, mentoring, hosting workshops or by simply increasing responsibilities to allow them to improve their efficiency and productivity.
Megan Stuart is a business content writer who specializes in the small business sector. Her expertise is in technology advancements in the workplace.