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How to Improve Productivity in a Small Business

There is usually someone already who has found a faster more efficient way to run a business. Asking for help if usually the best idea.

According to recent research conducted by Gallup, 85% of global employees are disengaged at work. This statistic is a startling piece of information since employee engagement is crucial for productivity.

Businesses face productivity issues for a great number of reasons, ranging from insufficient staff to ineffective processes. Therefore, it’s important to get to the root of the problem before trying to solve it.

Here, we will list eight ways you can boost your team’s productivity levels. You can check them out and see which ones would work best for your business.

Optimize Your Work Environment

Where we work is just as important as how we work. The work environment can affect us in many ways, both positive and negative. For example, open-layout offices are known to decrease productivity by at least 15%. That’s because there are many more distractions that can affect employees’ focus.

It’s important to optimize your work environment so that people are comfortable and everyone has their own workstation. What’s more, you can do your best to decorate the space and make it inviting with a lot of natural light and plants. You have to spend a large part of your day in the office, so make it a pleasant environment.

Create Effective Processes

One of the biggest productivity killers is disorganization in the workplace. If people don’t have clear instructions and duties, they are likely to feel a lack of motivation. Ineffective work processes can also result in a lot of mistakes and missed deadlines.

That’s why every team member needs to know their role in the greater scheme of things. This way, you avoid any confusion as well as improve accountability. If it’s clear whose job it is to do a weekly report on the project, they are more likely to do it right and complete it in time. Having effective processes helps you work like a well-oiled machine.

Boost Your Internal Communication

Poor communication or miscommunication can lead to a lot of problems that could damage your overall productivity. However, it’s easier than ever to communicate effectively across different departments and even with remote employees.

There are various collaboration tools on the market that can streamline your internal communication and make sure everyone knows their responsibilities. Apps such as Slack or Rocket Chat allow you to reach anyone in seconds and deliver a message or assistance.

You can also find various project management tools, such as Asana or Trello, that can help you make sure everyone is on board even if you all work from different parts of the world.

Automate Tedious Tasks

Repetitive tasks can get boring fast, and the more disengaged the employees doing them, the more errors will start appearing. You can motivate these employees by giving them more high-value tasks that require creativity and thinking and leave the repetitive work to smart software.

You can now automate many parts of your work processes and increase your overall productivity manifold. For example, by automating your accounting to use Xero, you’ll free yourself from work that requires a lot of energy and focus, allowing you to shift your attention to your core responsibilities or innovative ideas.

By automating various tasks, you can get much more out of your team members, and they’ll be happier since they won’t have to drudge through monotonous work.

Make Sure Everyone Does an Optimum Amount of Work

Your productivity might be on the decline because people are overworked and burnt out. You may think that having fewer people do more work saves you money, but it actually hurts your business in the long run. That’s why you need to make sure that all your employees have a reasonable workload to manage.

On the other hand, there can also be employees with far too little to do. They can get just as demotivated as the overworked people, as boredom leads to lethargy.

Of course, there’s no recipe for an optimum amount of work, but you can test various arrangements and check in with your employees regularly.

Don’t Be Afraid of Change

One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is sticking to the same old processes for too long. Just because you’re used to doing things a certain way doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try something new. By sticking to the “good old ways,” you might be missing out on changes that could drastically increase your team’s productivity.

So don’t be afraid to try something new as you can always revert to the old way if the new one doesn’t seem to work. Change can also be stimulating because it disrupts the drudgery of habitual behavior. It can stir up your employees and make them more interested in their work.

Make Sure Your Team Is Motivated

We’ve hinted at this tip already, but we can’t overstate the importance of motivation in the workplace. In fact, people work 20% better when they’re motivated. You can try many things to help your team’s motivation, such as offering various incentives.

These can include special bonuses, a reward system, opportunities for furthering their education, opportunities for advancing up their career ladder, etc. These can also be as small as providing positive feedback and hiring supportive managers.

People love to feel appreciated at work, and this alone will be enough for many to do their best. If someone offers a great idea you want to use, make sure to acknowledge the idea was theirs.

Listen to Your Team

Finally, your employees can tell you exactly what they need to be more productive, so it’s essential that you ask them regularly. Encourage honesty and even unprompted feedback because people may have amazing ideas that could help you improve entire processes at your business.

Maybe most of your meetings are unnecessary and disruptive to their work, and you could reduce them to a minimum. Maybe they could use clearer guidelines or better technology. Employee feedback is an invaluable resource when tackling productivity issues, so listen to them closely.

Hopefully, you’ll find these tips useful and figure out why your business is struggling with productivity.

Written By

Michael has been working in marketing for almost a decade and has worked with a huge range of clients, which has made him knowledgeable on many different subjects. He has recently rediscovered a passion for writing and hopes to make it a daily habit. You can read more of Michael's work at Qeedle.

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