Organizations are constantly looking for ways to get ahead of the competition. Keeping employee productivity high is one way to do this. Making small operational tweaks now can compound over time to have significant effects on business growth, especially for organizations that do not have the same resources as large corporations. The following tips provided by MVP Visuals President, Ben Camerota, are examples of ways your small business can imrpove employee productivity.
Clearly Defined Goals
Outlining comprehensible, achievable goals is essential for getting business done. How can employees be expected to excel if they are unsure about what it is they are working towards? Although an organizations “to do” list may seem endless, organizational leaders should aim to keep their list of goals as short as possible.
Goals should be established and prioritized based on teams’ projects and upcoming deadlines. Furthermore, it is the responsibility of managers to communicate their expectations to employees so as not to leave them in the dark. This is especially true for remote employees who have little face-to-face interactions with their managers. Camerota suggests evaluating the status of each goal weekly to make sure that employees and managers are staying on task. Having structured goals will enhance productivity because employees are likely to push each other to reach common, enterprise-wide objectives.
Small businesses cannot afford to rely solely on traditional methods of communication which are often slow and require lengthy responses. Real-time instant messaging has a much faster response time than email. This function is available in many cloud-based software solutions, which enables employees and managers to communicate wherever there is an internet connection present. This capability allows employees to collaborate with one another even if they are working remotely, which causes projects to be completed more quickly. Instant messaging also lets managers provide coaching to employees when problems arise while they are on the job. Having the ability to handle minor issues before they snowball into bigger conflicts can save businesses time, money, and headaches.
High Employee Engagement Levels
Employees are happy when they are engaged with their work. In his article, “3 Tips for Boosting Small Business Productivity”, Camerota cites a 2014 study conducted by economists from the University of Warwick. The findings concluded that happy employees are 10% more productive than those who are unhappy. Although 10% may not seem like a large percentage, imagine the benefits your organization could reap if all its members were 10% more productive than they are now.
Managers can help keep employees engaged by administering regular feedback. Employees will work to exceed expectations if they receive public recognition or reward, from management for their efforts. Managers of remote teams should initiate face-to-face meetups for employees to have casual conversation. These informal meetings, which could take place over coffee or lunch, will help prevent feelings of isolation within field employees, which can lead to disengagement. Micromanaging will also hurt engagement levels. Employees, especially those who work remotely, want the chance to use their skillsets to perform tasks independently in order to feel valued.
These recommendations for increasing employee productivity within small businesses are not mutually exclusive. For example, when managers provide feedback to remote workers using a cloud-based communication tool, they are also encouraging employee engagement. Instant messaging can be used to remind employees of organizational goals they are working to achieve. In turn, effective goal setting will lead to heightened engagement because employees will be able to make the connection between their individual roles and the long-term success of the organization. Whether they are used separately or in conjunction, these tips will empower employees to work to their fullest potential.
Victoria is a Marketing Associate at Repsly, where she leads the company's P.R. and social media efforts. You can also catch her prepping for slew of exciting industry events. A New England native, Victoria has spent time living in Italy and traveling throughout Europe before settling back in Boston. When she's not planning her next trip, V is probably tasting wine or brushing up on her Italian.