Looking to generate more sales, or grow your customer base in preparation for a company expansion? Maybe you just see opportunities in your current business model for added income, no matter what your circumstances are, there are a few simple methods you can follow to get more from your business without major changes.
Aside from some best practices, which we’ll review in this article, it helps to make sure you have the tools you need as well as the mindset and discipline. Now, there are some simple pieces of advice available for general productivity improvement, which you can read more about one, but for this article, we’ll be keeping it business specific.
- Lay a clear path to success from start to finish
To begin with, as you create your plan for success, start with setting achievable goals for your employees. If you want to see more productivity out of them, they need to know where they’re headed, and the best path to get there. By putting together, a plan with their skills and areas in need of improvement in mind you can ensure they have a reasonable, and realistic goal they can meet or complete to your standard. Mapping out a path for them to follow means taking any guesswork out of their progress, each step having clear parameters, and explaining transitioning to the next phase in simple terms.
- Commit to their improvement as much as your own
The second part of this process is to follow up on your staff and their progress as they work on the plans you have made for them. Reviewing their goals with them, checking in to see how they feel about how they’re handling their workload, and seeing for yourself if they’re aware of any areas where they need to make improvements. Have short, one-minute huddles with them at the beginning or end of their shifts, or brief five-minute chats at the start of the work week, and make sure they’re navigating their responsibilities with confidence, or know to ask for help should they find themselves in need of it. One of the ways you can keep things simple is by making use of the best platforms for project management that are available to help you stay organized.
- Be sure to reduce staff socializing while clocked-in
Limiting how many meetings you hold that pull multiple people away from their work and stations, as well as cutting back on company-wide email, or multiple individual emails can save more time than you might expect. It reduces how much time is spent creating the dialogue for these meetings or emails and takes people away from what they’re working on for a quick information dump that could have been a memo. Consider using an instant messaging app or widget for your employees, to send direct messages or department-wide information, you can save time and avoid unnecessary additional stress this way.
- Remind your staff that work isn’t where we are meant to socialize
It might seem counter-intuitive to keep morale up but limiting socialization while on the clock can greatly increase productivity. Getting distracted with conversating can waste hours of time over days and weeks of short chats that lead to long talks. A positive way to still encourage healthy professional relationships without eating into valuable project time is to host employee events. Gather the crew for a pot-luck picnic, or plan a movie viewing on days when staff members can request off, even having in-office parties, like mentioned on this site, can be a great way to blow off steam and let people get some chatting out of their systems.
It’s easy to get caught up in a quick exchange that evolves into a nearly hour-long conversation, and suddenly more than one employee has fallen behind on their work. No one wants to work in an overly strict workplace that feels like an overbearing corporation but spending too much time being friendly with peers while on the clock can be detrimental to the long-term success of projects and deadlines. There are some interesting numbers when it comes to how much time distracted employees spend on social media.
- It’s a job, it should not be a treasure hunt
Keep your staff educated, informed, and energized, and you’ll see productivity blossom. Prevent a good workflow from getting interrupted or delayed from poor organization in the office. Having supplies, documents, and important forms available at your employees’ fingertips is imperative. When there are hoops to jump through to get one simple form, or if they have to go on an office-wide hunt to find a simple office tool, you can have a very serious turn of mood or momentum. No one wants to see themselves nearing the end of a long bout of paperwork or closing in on the completion of a project only to realize they’re missing information, authorization, or need a hole puncher. Can they get up and get what they need right away, or are they going to have to ask five people and check three offices before they find what or who they need?
On the topic of organization, we return to the importance of having excellent project management software. Utilizing programs that can process, organize and store valuable and sensitive data, streamlining the steps needed to access or share this information, and even tracking changes and updates, this is a tool that you’ll eventually wonder how you survived without it.