Understaffed? Here’s How To Improve Efficiency In Your Small Business

improve work efficiency

marketing plan templateIf your employees must wear a lot of hats or you are understaffed, here are some ways to work smarter not harder and improve employee efficiency

As a small business, it’s common to hit dips and lulls in employment and efficiency. Worse yet, you might not even realize your department is understaffed until the efficiency of your employees takes a downturn.

Identifying when you’re understaffed is one of your primary functions as a small business owner, but it’s a fine line to walk. After all, you don’t want your employees to run out of work if you hire one too many employees. At the same time, you don’t want to overburden the hardworking employees you already have, even if they’re willing to put in the extra time and effort. Reports have shown that more and more Millennial workers — the current brunt of the workforce — are looking to find meaning in their work. This means that when they care about their company they may be willing to offer a little more than they can give.

The start of the new year is the perfect time to map out your financial goals and make some serious calculations. If you’re one of the many small businesses who might be struggling with a staffing issue, read on to learn how to improve employee efficiency.

Limit overtime

Even though your employees may want to work hard, it’s estimated that employees who work for more than 50 hours each week are really running on fumes. These employees simply aren’t going to churn out quality work when they’re overburdened. On top of that, employees who consistently work long hours are more likely to experience a decrease in productivity and even experience job burnout at a quicker rate than others.

Employees really do their best work in short bursts of focus for about 25 minutes at a time. There are even apps and programs which provide timers to monitor and schedule periods of focus throughout the day. Encouraging employees to find a rhythm that works for them can go a long way in promoting efficiency at the individual level.

If you limit overtime work among your employees and notice that the work still isn’t getting done, it may be time to hire a new person.

Offer amenities and incentives

Whether you’re working in an office space, a retail environment, or the customer service business, offering great incentives is a wonderful way to get your employees more motivated. And this doesn’t mean dangling a big bonus in front of them; taking the time to engage and collaborate with employees will reveal what they really want. One of the best ways to promote the health of your employees is utilizing a fitness program.

The human body contains more than 650 different muscles, but only a fraction of these muscles get used in the workplace. As such, your desk employees might suffer from leg pain, back pain, and more. By offering fitness incentives, including gym memberships, fitness trackers, and health programs, your employees will feel better and love coming into work each day. It can also inspire new employees to sign that dotted line with your company.

Improve your systems

If you’re not engaging in automated processes that can do the menial work for you, it’s time to invest in a better system. After all, you’re wasting valuable time and effort on simple tasks that can otherwise be performed by an automated system. This includes a chatbot on your site that can answer simple questions pertaining to hours and phone numbers, but it also includes appointment-making and other tasks that a consumer can do on their own.

You need to ensure your systems have the capacity to perform these tasks. Upgrading your IT equipment will not only assure that your automated systems will work properly, but it will also benefit the productivity of your employees. When they don’t have to wait 12 years for their email to load, they can click through internet tasks with ease. Just be sure to install a proper IT cooling system. It’s estimated that an immersion-based data center cooling system can reduce the amount of energy expended by up to 20%.

Create an engaging work environment

This one seems small, but it can actually do a lot in boosting employee morale. Creating a welcoming, engaging work environment is just one of the many things you can do to create a sense of community in your office or small business. A stark, grey office with little self-expression won’t make your employees feel happy when they come into work; however, a colorful mosaic in the office space can create a beautiful atmosphere with minimal effort on your part. It’s estimated that glass mosaics have been around at least 300 years before the birth of Christ.

There are many different ways to promote efficiency among your employees, but getting to the heart of the issues within your business is the best way to treat the problem. When you’re looking for ways to boost efficiency, don’t hesitate to invest in the well-being of your employees in 2019.

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Valerie M.

Valerie M. is a writer from Upstate New York. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from The State University of New York at Fredonia in 2016 and is currently working at a digital marketing agency where she writes blog posts for a variety of small businesses all over the country. Valerie enjoys writing about music, animals, nature, and traveling.