Every business owner wants his or her workforce to be as productive as possible.
Some are very clever at this and know the tricks of how to get the best from their employees. But what if you are a new startup that has never had employees before?
It is very easy to fall into the trap of letting things slide the wrong way, and then your business will suffer. Experienced employers will usually know the way forward, and here are a few tips that some of them have passed on.
Dispose Of Distractions
Dispose of anything that will cause distractions. This includes your staff using their smartphones while they should be working. There are so many apps that could take their attention off their jobs that it is not just a case of them doing what they are paid for, in some situations it could be dangerous if they are not concentrating.
The same should apply to you. Your social media posts or the next level of your game can wait until your lunch hour or when you get home in the evening. You should be as strict with yourself as you are with your employees and not be tempted to play on your smartphone during working hours.
If your premises have windows that look out onto a busy street, install blinds so that outside is not a distraction. It is fine to have some background music and most employees enjoy that. But don’t have very loud music or that will distract them as well.
Keep Them Happy
Happy workforces are the most productive so do not create an atmosphere of fear or resentment. Always acknowledge them and let them know that your door is always open if they have any problems or ideas.
Encourage them to work as a team, as research has shown that teamwork is more productive. This is because they can help each other to solve any problems and this can speed things along. Team building exercises are an excellent way of encouraging them to interact with each other, and many employers are now finding these very useful. This could be just a short game that takes a few minutes or a day out at a treasure hunt, for example. They just need to be something that means they have to work together to solve a problem.
Be open with your staff. Let them know the challenges the business faces, and make them aware of any success that occurs. This fosters a feeling of trust between you and them and will make them want to help achieve your goals.
Recognise a special effort. This does not have to be much more than a sincere thank you, but it can mean a lot just to know they are appreciated.
Rostering software can help as well. It can let you know that the right people are in the right place at the right time. This will help to keep you fully informed and to keep your stress levels down. A happier boss breeds a happier workforce, which is what the aim is at the end of the day.
Slow Your Reactions
It is rare that an email needs an instant reaction or that the reply to a voicemail must be done in the next five minutes. Sometimes, quick reactions can be the wrong thing for two main reasons. One it gives the impression that you have nothing else to do and that does not look good for your business. Secondly, you will find that your response might be different in an hour or two to what it would have been in you had answered instantly.
Think about your reply carefully and then respond later in the day.
If a member of staff tells you of a problem or idea, tell them you will think over what they have said and get back to them later. A gut reaction is often not the best, particularly if it is something that has made you angry. Consider what they have discussed with you, and do not forget to speak to them again later in the day so that they realise that you were listening after all.
Forget Unnecessary Meetings
Meetings take everyone away from the job they should be doing, so having regular weekly meetings should not be an option. They can be just waste precious time that could be being used much more productively.
Have meetings when you need to, and keep them as short as you can. Put a time limit on them, or go to the extremes of some employers and do not have any chairs. People will soon move on a lot quicker if they have to stand throughout a meeting.
Provide a Rest Space
You and your employees should have a space that enables everyone to move away from their workstation during breaks. This then feels much more like a proper break and they will return to work refreshed and ready to start again after lunch.
As well as boosting productivity, this also provides the opportunity for you all to interact socially, and build good working relationships. In a workplace culture where people are friends with each other, more work will get done, as they will assist one another when things go wrong.
There will always be some tasks that are more important than others and you need to identify which these are. Although every job can be vital to the whole, if there is a shortage of time you need to know which needs doing first. Getting your staff on board with this habit can be very useful, as then they will not waste time doing a job that could wait till later when there is something crucial that needs doing.
Making your workplace as productive as possible is about working together for the same aims. You do not want any conflict between employees, or between you and employees, as that will soon slow production down.
One big happy team should be your goal, and then the increase in productivity will take care of itself.