Small businesses do not always have the luxury of being able to hire more employees or bringing in business consultants to
improve productivity. As a business owner, this means you must find ways to increase the productivity of your current work force. Take a close look at your present operational and managerial procedures to discover areas where you can eliminate waste and increase employee motivation.
Improve the work environment
A happy office is a productive office, so look for ways to lighten the work environment.
Promote an open-door policy in which your workers can feel free to express their concerns or offer ideas. If you make use of a dress code, consider allowing the occasional casual day during which your staff can dress more comfortably. Recognise employee birthdays, and hold occasional employee outings. Sometimes organise office outings and family picnic.
Assign proper roles
In a small business, employees often wear a variety of hats. If you constantly assign employees to roles for which they are not suited, their confidence may suffer, leading to disgruntled feelings. Make an effort to match your employees’ skills and interests to roles that fit them best so that they will be more satisfied with their jobs, as well as more productive.
Small businesses often operate on tight budgets, so you may not always be able to afford to give regular pay raises. As an alternative, offer incentive programmes tied to productivity. This improves your bottom line, enabling you to provide rewards, such as cash or prizes. You can use incentives as a means to increase sales or reduce operating expenses.
Encourage your employees to make use of technology, whenever possible, to save time. Instruct them to send an e-mail instead of making a phone call that costs money.
Let your employees know what you expect from them in terms of productivity by establishing goals, and holding them accountable for reaching them. For example, if your goal is to increase your annual revenue by 10 per cent, give each of your salespeople a
personal goal for his own contribution. Schedule regular meetings with your employees to gauge their progress, and
to offer your input. —