More productivity in your business equals more money for your pocket. There are a few ways that any business can improve productivity for its workers. However, it’s important to know where your business stands before a business owner can see if the employees are improving or not. Here are some tips to do both!
Conduct Baseline Research
Before you can judge whether your changes are making your business more productive or not, you’ve got to know what your current business metrics are. To do this, you will need to collect information data on past employee hours, sales, and profits. The more information you can gather, (usually) the better. Here are some questions to ask yourself.
- How many hours do employees (collectively) work each week?
- How much money in sales do employees make?
- What is the average sale amount?
- What is the rate of customer retention?
- What is the employee turnover rate?
- What is the trend for business operating costs?
Once you have answered these questions, you should have a good idea of how your business is currently doing. By looking at older records, you can know how your business did in the past. Comparing these numbers can help you to learn if your business has become more or less productive over time. Additionally, you can use idea management to improve business productivity by encouraging employees to share their suggestions for improving processes and procedures. By creating a culture of innovation and listening to employee feedback, businesses can uncover new ways to increase efficiency and profitability.
Put Away Non-business Technology
Cell phones and similar smart technology are some of the biggest distractors for employees, no matter what field they work in. Employees, on average, spend between one to two hours a day on their phones while at work– not including breaks. This is one or two hours less a day an employee is spending working on sales, helping customers, and doing just about anything else.
One of the simplest solutions to this problem is to not allow employees to use their phones while on the clock. It may sound a little high school, but enforcing employees to lock up their phones in their lockers is a great way to cut down on this type of distraction. Some employees will be resistant to this, but that tends to happen with any kind of change in the workplace.
Use Incentive Plans
Positive reinforcement is another tactic employers can use to reward employees for their hard work. However, these rewards should not be random. They need to be scheduled or set up in a way where an employee needs to perform a specific action in order to gain the reward. This could mean working a certain amount of hours, making so many sales, or something similar. What matters the most is that the action is measurable in some way.
Next, make sure to pick out a reward that employees actually want. Now avoiding acting a bit like high school, employees don’t care much for pizza parties. Ask employees what they like. Better yet, give bonuses or gift cards. Everyone likes a little extra money. This will add to a business’s expenses, but if used correctly, it can make the business more profitable in the end.
Communicate More Effectively
Outside of cell phones, there’s hardly anything that wastes more time and money than miscommunication. Miscommunication can happen anywhere, at any time, in person or online. The best way to avoid miscommunication is to… get better at communication. Of course, this is easier said than done.
Perhaps the easiest way to clear up miscommunications is to encourage employees to ask more questions or to have employees restate the instructions. Both of these methods can help to improve the chances of an employee’s comprehending what he or she is supposed to be doing. There will probably be a learning curve to this, but over time, using these measures to improve communications should help to save time and money.
When you’re done implementing changes, start collecting new data. That’s the best way to see if the changes are working in your business’s favor or not. If so, keep it up. If not, re-evaluate and find out where more changes need to be made in the future.