Running a business is full of challenges; you’ll find new ones every day that need to be surmounted and solved. Something that is always interesting and always needs to be addressed if you want to have a successful business that works without you when it needs to (that is when you’re on vacation or unwell) is employee productivity. The more productive your employees, the better your business will do. Here are some useful ways to increase your employees’ productivity.
It can be hard for a business owner to delegate tasks to their employees; after all, the business is like your baby, and it’s difficult to lose a little of that control. However, delegating can actually make your employees much more productive because they feel more valued. If you have hired well, then your staff should be able to do the tasks that you are giving them, freeing up your time to work on thinking up ways to make your business even more profitable, and encouraging your employees to think on their own. This is their chance to prove to you how good they are; let them take it.
Know Your Employees
Make sure that you know your employees well and understand what each of their particular skill sets is. This way, you can match the tasks you have to offer to the skills they have. Giving someone a job to do that you and they know they can do well means that it will get done faster and more successfully than asking them to do something they’re not sure about. Therefore, knowing your employees will make them more productive. Of course, don’t forget that you can train them in the skills that they don’t currently have if you want them to be able to do more for you. However, that can wait until you have the time to dedicate to it, and in the meantime ensure that everyone is capable of the tasks you have laid out should be your priority.
Communication is one of the key elements of having a productive workforce. There are many different ways to communicate with your employees including phone, email, text, and more. However, the best way to do this is face to face whenever possible. Sometimes you need to be able to read your employees’ body language (and they yours) to ensure that everyone understands exactly what they are being asked to do and what needs to happen next.
Adding GPS tracking systems to your company fleet is another great way to boost employee productivity. It’s easy for people to become distracted when they are out of the office making deliveries or picking something up. It’s easy for them to go off track when they are heading off to meet a client for a meeting. With GPS trackers on their vehicles, they know they need to keep to their schedules, and that makes them more productive. With less time wasted between each appointment, more can be done during the day. Another bonus is that GPS trackers are a useful security feature; they are a deterrent to would-be thieves, and if the vehicle is ever stolen, they provide an exact location for the police.
Have Clear Goals
If you want your employees to be more productive and focused on the task at hand, you need to ensure that you give them clear goals to work to. If you don’t define exactly what it is you want, and double check that it is achievable (even if you can do it, don’t forget that your employees may not have the knowledge, skills, or relevant information to get the job done themselves). Tell your employees what you want them to do and what you expect of them, and the jobs will be done much more efficiently. The acronym SMART is a useful one to bear in mind in situations like this. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
Incentivize Your Staff
Giving your employees a reason to be more productive is a great way to ensure that it happens. It can be as simple as praising your staff when they do a good job. If they feel respected and appreciated they will work harder to become more efficient because they know that what they are doing is important and they will feel encouraged to push themselves further. It will depend on the member of staff in question as to how you go about this. Some will prefer a private thank you whereas others will enjoy being praised in front of everyone. Bear their personalities in mind when you are planning how to go about this. As well as this, you might consider bonuses for jobs well done. This can be in the form of money, but it could also be extra vacation days, or you could give them restaurant vouchers (or even take them out to the restaurant yourself).
Don’t Overburden Your Staff
If you have already given a member of staff a task to do, try not to give them anymore until they have finished the first one. They may try to multitask if they have a lot to do, and this is not always a very productive way to go about things. They may also feel overwhelmed and overburdened and end up not completing any tasks at all. Instead, let them finish what you originally asked them to do, praise them for a job well done, and then give them their next task. It will give you a much more productive workforce, and you will know that everything that needs to be done is in hand.
Look At Remote Working
Giving your employees the opportunity to work from home at least some of the time can increase productivity hugely. It’s not for everyone, but there are people who thrive in their own home environment and who get a lot more done when they don’t have to commute. They feel happier, their minds are clearer, and they’ve generally more comfortable. It’s certainly something to consider if you think your workforce needs a little boost.