Business owners and managers can improve employee productivity by using motivation, training, prioritization and technology strategies
The current economic situation including soaring prices of basic commodities has affected everyone, families and small/home businesses. With slow sales, many small business owners have been pressured to cut costs by instituting time savings measures. Others have no choice but to close shop. Such situations have left small businesses to find ways and means to squeeze productivity from their resources, most especially in relation to people resources.
Here are some strategies that small business owners and/or managers can use to increase their employee productivity.
Measure Employee Productivity
Employers can create productivity standards that employees strive to meet or exceed. Managers talk to employees and gauge their workloads. If there are impediments for performing better, the manager at worst should try to terminate them, or if not, to re-train them.
Employees perform effectively and efficiently when motivated and feel a sense of being a part of the company. Business owners or managers should provide adequate feedback and listen to their employees. For a good boost in productivity, business owners can give workers leadership roles, defined and identified in employee development plans that also include reward and promotion. As employees gain a sense of ownership, they take on more responsibility, become more accountable, and more productive.
In some instances, business owners allow rank-and-file workers to get involved with the social activities of the company. Many employees are already on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Allowing them to use these online social media can provide a marketing boost, however, elements of responsibility and discipline need to be infused and certain boundaries made clear to employees.
While business owners or managers demand more from their workers, they should also be supportive of them. This could mean doing away with a few less useful tasks or allowing employees a certain space to prioritize their own work. For instance, if certain duties don’t deliver much value but still need to get done, employers should consider letting workers do them less frequently. It is important to prioritize tasks in terms of importance and urgency.
For vital tasks, business owners should consider re-training to update employees on current trends and technologies, especially on critical or vital tasks. For tasks that do not call for specialized skills, some employees can practice multiple tasking to boost productivity. Some business owners see this as a reduction in paying workers for downtime. For employees who perform less profitable tasks, business owners can also consider re-training them to perform duties that the business sees as more valuable.
Establish Time-saving Technology
The right resources, tools and equipments are necessary for employees to perform more efficiently. Examples are computers with internet connections and network, hosted software programs, such as accounting software, project management software, and customer-relationship-management systems. These hardware and software, if properly used, can reduce time spent on administrative, management and marketing activities. Some small business use online video for marketing and advertising purposes.
Improving productivity is important in any business. For the small business owner or entrepreneur, increased productivity can also mean working smarter, and not always harder. The above strategies identified and provided can make a valuable difference.
Tel Asiado is freelance writer, author, former business solutions manager and founder of T.A. Writing Services and Business Consulting. She owns and manages Small Business Ideas Now (SmallBizIdeasNow.com) along with various websites covering niche topics of her interest, from inspired pen writing, inventions & discoveries, to Mozart & classical music.
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