Are you struggling to increase the effectiveness of your processes and boost productivity? If so, you’re not alone – this is a common challenge for small business management.
Manpower is a key factor that determines how productive an organization is. Therefore, enhancing your overall effectiveness boils down to increasing your employee productivity. Building engagement is an essential step to achieving this goal.
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A Gallup report indicates that fostering employee engagement can result in 17 % higher productivity and 21 % increased profitability. Among the other benefits are improved customer ratings, considerably lower absenteeism, and increased sales. How can you make it possible for your business to experience such a dramatic rise, too?
To help you increase employee productivity and thus your overall effectiveness, we’ll share seven proven small business management tips that will enable you to promote workplace engagement.
Let’s get started by highlighting some more potential benefits of focusing on your workers.
Why is it important for small business management to increase employee productivity?
The truth is, your employees are your key asset. They are your brand ambassadors who create your company image in their direct interactions with customers. They are the ones that actually produce and sell your product or service. That’s why ensuring employee satisfaction and productivity is vital.
It will also reduce employee turnover. Taking into account that businesses spend between $3,000 and $5,000 per hire, the ability to retain your staff directly translates to significant savings on hiring and onboarding. It allows you to build on company knowledge and expertise and consequently improve profitability.
To sum up, increased employee productivity means:
- A boost to your overall business productivity
- Increased revenue
- Staying ahead of the competition
- More opportunities for business scale and growth
Now that you have a clearer idea of all the advantages of focusing on your team’s productivity, let’s go through some effective strategies to help employees become more productive.
1. Create a productive and motivating environment
The atmosphere in the office is a crucial factor for the performance of your team. What can you do to make sure that everyone has the most favorable conditions to do their tasks efficiently?
Promote good focus and task prioritizing and minimize interruptions
Did you know that your employees will need between 8 and 25 minutes to regain focus and resume work depending on the complexity of their tasks? On the other hand, a more convenient and quieter work surrounding can bring about a productivity increase of 13 %.
Arrange your workspace so that it offers special areas where your employees can have short breaks and conversations. This will let them concentrate better at their workstations. Another robust small business management strategy is to introduce a clearly set policy minimizing distractions by establishing “non-interruption” time and precise allocation of duties.
Enhance employee productivity by ensuring clear communication
Implement a solution that allows employees to discuss current and completed projects and tasks. You can choose among the great variety of stand-alone specialized tools like Hangouts, Skype, Whatsapp, Viber, or Facebook Messenger, Slack, etc.
Adopting an end-to-end platform, such as Caflou, is a viable option to concentrate all your functions in one place. It comes with chat and online video tools naturally integrated into the platform to let your team communicate without switching between applications.
A small business management platform, such as Caflou, integrates chat and video call options
Also, the platform allows teams to communicate on tasks or projects through comments and mentions. This is a reliable and time-effective way to keep all employees updated and avoid any information gaps that using multiple tools can bring about.
2. Provide positive work-life balance
Promoting a company culture of respecting employees’ out-of-the-office activities and obligations results in increased productivity, better employee satisfaction, and commitment. It also allows you to attract and retain employees and leads to enhanced brand reputation and improved customer experience.
Here’s how you can ensure a positive work-life balance and focus on your employees’ well-being:
- Encourage taking the agreed optimal time off: Adopt a policy of taking a specified number of days off each year and make sure that it’s followed by everyone. You can introduce an annual vacation plan to facilitate the process.
- Promote regular breaks throughout the working day: For example, you can set a schedule of 3-4 short breaks of 10-15 minutes and a lunch break of 30 minutes to keep it manageable.
- Foster respect to working hours: Unless under super urgent circumstances, don’t require responses to emails or answering calls outside of working hours.
All these measures will enable you to avoid employees' overworking and burnout, which is particularly important for supporting productivity.
3. Implement the right small business management software
It’s established that repetitive mundane tasks eat 22 % of an employee’s time. You can easily calculate the cost of manual tasks in productivity loss on a yearly basis. A dedicated system allowing automation of processes can enhance your workers’ performance, free them from manual operations, and minimize time-wasting activities.
Such solutions let your team work smart instead of hard by automatically indicating the status of tasks, reassigning them, or setting their priority. Your employees will receive smart notifications of any changes and updates of tasks, schedules, and project details. This will eliminate human errors and the possibility of missing or overlooking crucial information, so you can be sure that nobody is left behind.
4. Track and evaluate employee productivity and performance
Using the right work management solution will enable you to monitor performance and track deliverables. For example, with the right team's economic report function, you will know the high-performing team or team members and the revenue they generate for the business. In addition, workload reports provide details of the number of working hours and the work done by every employee.
Caflou allows you to track employee productivity and revenue generated
You can use insights like task assignments, time spent on work, project work progress, and deadlines met to optimize operations and motivate your employees. What are the best ways to keep your workers motivated and inspired?
5. Utilize incentive strategies to boost employee productivity
Recognizing your employees’ contribution will make them more invested in your success. Gallup reports that this will increase productivity and job satisfaction resulting in higher retention. Thirty-seven percent of respondents in an employee survey would be more motivated to improve their work if they receive more recognition for it.
- Make employees feel valued and voice your praise at company and team meetings. Establish regular company face-to-face and virtual events devoted to discussing business goals, outcomes, and progress. Use the opportunity to acknowledge top-performing employees and teams. This would strengthen your company culture and serve as a teambuilding activity.
- Build a culture of recognition of employee achievements and experience in your organization. Develop an incentive plan to determine the criteria and the budget you’ll allocate for your efforts in advance. You can use different ways to motivate your top performers:
- Awards and Bonuses
- Paid days off
- Paid upskilling courses
- Other incentives for special occasions like birthdays and official holidays, such as present vouchers and gift cards.
6. Offer working flexibility
Providing employees with the opportunity to have the flexibility of working arrangements will increase their satisfaction, which translates into enhanced productivity. With the right small business management technology and the best practices in place, you can benefit from this opportunity.
- Offer remote and hybrid work arrangements to your employees
- Allow flexible working hours
- Apply dedicated tools for remote work management depending on your needs and shared document storage
- Adopt a project/task management system, which will make it easy to create checklists, templates, and processes for more complicated tasks
Caflou ensures visibility of task assignments and progress in a clear Kanban form
Implementing a task management solution will provide clear visibility and let every employee know the task they are assigned, its deadline, and its budget. This will give you real-time insights into project work progress, workloads, and the availability of teams.
7. Create personal development opportunities
Millennials are becoming a dominant part of the workforce globally. For 93 % of them, professional development availability is paramount when making an employment decision. To keep employees productive, providing upskilling opportunities is a must. This is particularly tricky with small businesses as you cannot offer the chances for hierarchical ascending found in a large enterprise.
What can you do?
- Think of courses and training that will upskill your employees
- Encourage them to keep up with the latest industry events and developments by taking part in seminars
- Organize in-house meetings and seminars where those who need challenges show what they’ve learned to their coworkers through presentations.
All these tips can work both with on-site and remote work arrangements.
Every business has three essential resources that can help it grow if used wisely: people, time, and capital. These assets are interconnected and interrelated. By applying the small business management tips above, you can boost your employee productivity, which will optimize the way you manage all your other resources.
Equipped with an end-to-end platform like Caflou, you’ll be able to integrate all business functions and fully benefit from all opportunities to grow and thrive.