Saturday, July 22, 2017

Encouraging Productivity In Small Businesses

Size does not matter; whether your business is a small startup or an established company, everyone needs to work hard to make it a success. Your employees are therefore the most important part of your business. If they don’t work, your startup suffers. That said, you don’t want to bully your employees into doing their jobs because that doesn’t make for a very pleasant work environment. Instead, try some of these tips to encourage productivity in your business. 


Productive space 

If you’ve ever had to work in an office that’s dull, lifeless, and badly lit, you’ll recall that your overall productivity suffered during your tenure in said workplace. Get your team off to a good start by adding some creative, yet productive office comforts. Paint it a calming color, make sure there is plenty of natural light coming in, and provide comfortable ergonomic chairs so they don’t put unnecessary strain on their bodies. Living plants, fresh orchids, a unique stone or seashell, or even an aquarium filled with colorful fish can bring a touch of comfort to the office and make employees feel at ease. You should also make sure you keep the office clear of clutter. If their workspace is scattered and messy, then how can you expect your employees to have clear, concise thoughts. 

Dress code 

While you want your employees to look professional, sometimes a dress code can be stifling. Some people feel more comfortable working in jeans and flat shoes, while others would just be happy to wear shorts to work so they can stay cool in the middle of a heatwave. As long as your employees look presentable, there’s no reason why they can’t wear casual clothes to work. If it’s a matter of identification, you could just have everyone wear custom lanyards while they’re in the office; they’re easy to get from lanyardsusa.com/lanyards/custom-lanyards. It’s also easier on you if your employees can just get on with their work instead of policing whether everyone is sticking to hemline regulations. If there comes a point when you have to meet with an important client, then just advise them to dress up a little more than usual. 



Train your employees 

It’s getting harder to hire people who meet all your criteria, so you compromise with someone who is willing to learn certain skills on the job. However, expecting them to instantly know things can be overwhelming. Set aside to teach them what they need to know, and make it clear that they don’t have to present themselves as an expert. Forcing employees to learn on the job can be extremely inefficient and overwhelming for your new worker. If it doesn’t encourage them to quit, you may eventually have to make that decision for them. By taking the time to teach them the necessary skills to complete their tasks, you will have an employee who knows how to do their job well. 

Allow some flexibility 

Commuters are among the unhappiest people in the world; most complain that they feel stressed, fat, sore, and tired from the daily journey that can sometimes last an hour each way. It’s no wonder most employees are miserable before they even set foot in the office. Studies suggest that telecommuting allowances and other types of flexible work arrangements have positive implications for employee morale and job satisfaction, both of which are positively correlated with productivity. Therefore, you’re actually benefitting your business by giving your employees to flexibility. 

Thanks to technology, you can always check in on your homeworkers to make sure they’re meeting all their targets without any problems. Once that’s done, your employees can structure their daily schedule to fit in with their families and personal lives. If they find they get more work done at night because they spend the afternoon running around after small children, that’s their business. All you need to be concerned about is whether the deadlines are being met. Chances are, you could see an increase in productivity because they’ve all achieved a good work/life balance. 


Opportunities 

You might be at your desired state in your career, but that doesn’t mean everyone else is content to stay where they are. If your employees don’t see an opportunity for advancement, then they’ll have no reason to do well once their passion for the job starts to wane. They’ll either start looking for other, better paid, positions with another company, or they’ll stay and become a mediocre worker. Either way, you’re losing the enthusiastic employee that you first hired. Motivate your employees by offering training that gives them the skills they need to climb their career ladder. Grooming young employees to move on to better opportunities is valuable to you as well because it enables you to build your company’s reputation as a great place to work. 

Provide real-time feedback 

Employees often cease to be productive if they’re constantly told they’re doing something wrong, but given no feedback on how they can do better. Without feedback, they’ll likely repeat the same mistake multiple times because they don’t know what they did wrong to begin with, or they will make new mistakes trying to compensate for what they perceived to be the original error. As a result, they will be frustrated and unproductive, and you will have extra work to do. Provide them with constructive feedback; don’t berate them for their mistakes, make suggestions for improvement, and highlight their successes as well as their shortcomings. 


Reward their hard work 

People work better if they’re rewarded with more than just a paycheck. Recognizing their efforts and contributions will make them feel appreciated and they will continue to be productive workers. You can offer a monthly bonus, a day off with pay, or an Employee of the Month plaque. However, you should remember that one employee will be happier with a private “thank you,” while another might prefer a more public acknowledgement. But either way, they will think more highly of you if you think highly of them.

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