By Ben Gold, President, QuickBridge
Employee productivity is vital to your business’s success. Increasing employee productivity requires small business owners to motivate and engage their workers. If you’re a small business owner looking to ramp up productivity, you may face significant resource limitations. Driving productivity gains isn’t necessarily simple. Consider these five key tactics:
1. Provide Employees with the Right Technology
Workers find few things more frustrating than not having the right tools for the job. Only 44% of employees believe that their company provides them with the technology needed to effectively perform in their role.
For a long time, small business owners fell behind larger organizations because they couldn’t afford to purchase advanced technologies and equipment. Cloud computing and mobile devices are helping address this problem. The cloud eliminates capital costs and lets you pay for the resources you use instead of purchasing software licenses in bulk. A smartphone can give users access to apps and keep them connected at a relatively low cost.
Working capital can provide you with the funds needed to invest in software technology and purchase new equipment. Providing your employees with the tools they need to succeed is a great first step in increasing employee productivity.
2. Cross-Training and Development
Small businesses have a reputation for employees wearing many hats. Increasing employee productivity is easier when employees are cross-trained to perform within a variety of positions. Equipping employees with a diverse set of skills strengthens their engagement and can decrease the chances of employee turnover. Cross-training your workers prepares employees for different job types. As a result, your workers aren’t constantly trying to keep up with new challenges.
Cross-training and developing your employees’ skills is also beneficial for your business. Having employees who can quickly step into different roles can help you avoid productivity gaps in the event that an employee leaves the company. Effective development strategies ensure that you always have somebody with the expertise and ability to train new hires and fill in vacant positions.
3. Improve Company Culture
Your company’s culture is made up of a variety of elements, including work environment, company vision, ethics, and goals. Research published in the IOSR Journal of Business and Management found that cultures that emphasize relationship building and rewarding teamwork contribute to employee productivity, while companies that focus on hierarchies and individual success derail productivity.
Increasing employee productivity through improving company culture begins by adjusting your hiring practices. It’s essential to hire employees who are a good cultural fit. Hiring an employee who will work well with the rest of the team will help to energize and motivate your current employees.
4. Communicate Effectively
Organizations that lack open communication between managers and employees can run into productivity problems. Managers who are accessible to their employees and effectively communicate expectations and responsibilities can more easily create a shared business.
This approach helps with increasing employee productivity, as employees feel directly connected to the organization’s mission and goals. Ultimately, better communication can foster efficiency and increase job satisfaction.
5. Set Goals and Analyze Performance
Employees will be more productive if they have an achievable goal to aim for. Goal setting helps employees self-motivate and build confidence in their ability to succeed. Once you have set goals in place, establish a measurement system where employees can keep track of their own individual performance.
Setting meaningful goals for your business and employees can drive better performance and higher productivity. It can also encourage employees to collaborate and work as a team. Have regular check-ins with your employees about goals and their personal progress, and offer rewards for a job well done. According to a recent study by Glassdoor, nearly four in five employees would prefer new or additional benefits to a pay increase. Consider providing them with medical insurance, a 401(k) plan, or a gym membership.
Ben Gold is president of QuickBridge, a privately held financial services firm providing small business loans and short-term working capital funding solutions for small to midsize businesses nationwide.