Small businesses lack the scale and resources larger businesses have — which is why it’s even more critical for them to pay attention to productivity.
So, what are some of the practical, actionable ways you can improve productivity in your small business?
Here’s a fresh look at why productivity levels drop, how this could affect your business and what you can do to improve and maintain productivity.
Why productivity levels drop
Things like poor organisational structure and culture as well as lack of employee training can have a negative impact on productivity.
In addition, ineffective supervision and communication along with low-morale causing micromanagement could be another potential driving factor behind dropping productivity levels.
Poor task planning and too many unnecessary meetings can lead to distractions, conflicts, and stress that will drain your team’s productivity.
Your team members not having the right tools to support their roles could also have a negative impact on productivity.
How poor productivity affects small businesses
Poor productivity could have wide-ranging impacts on your small business.
It could further lower morale, impede efficiency, and affect growth and profit margins.
You could experience poor sales, reduced customer satisfaction, revenue, and service performance — leading to a compromised bottom line.
High productivity could be the outcome of numerous factors, so the following strategies cover everything from technology to motivation.
1. Provide the right tools and equipment
Having the right tools and equipment could have a significant impact on your team’s productivity by helping them get more done, faster, and more effectively.
For example, Misschu the original Asian street-food “tuckshop” in Australia was looking for a way to increase their productivity.
Everything was labour intensive for Misschu until they adopted food catering software. This helped them to scale their business and grow a lot faster.
2. Implement a continuous improvement system
Improving and maintaining productivity is a continuous process, so focus on continuous improvement rather than setting and leaving it.
You can do this by defining the best practices for your industry and designing your organisation, operations, and processes to meet these targets.
Regularly seek feedback from employees about areas for improvement, focus on a few priorities at a time and track your results as you go.
3. Plan roles, tasks, and processes effectively
Review the jobs, roles, tasks, processes, and workflows in your organisation and explore ways to become more efficient in each of these.
This could be with the help of technology tools to support improved workflows. Review how your staff structure their workdays and adjust this if necessary.
4. Set clear expectations and reinforce deadlines
Ensure every team member understands their employee responsibilities and has clear deadlines they can work too. A good way to do this is to lay out key duties in an employee handbook.
Managers should take time to communicate their expectations and goals, offer direction and guidance, and follow up to make sure staff members are hitting their targets.
This could make your team members more accountable yet more independent and, in turn — more productive.
5. Create a positive workplace
Review your workplace culture and look for ways to build a more positive work environment.
Highly stressful, antagonistic, and adversarial workplaces could be detrimental to productivity.
In contrast, a positive, supportive work environment might better motivate your team to do better.
Productivity can be determined by a wide variety of factors.
In your small business, you could successfully address it by providing the right tools and equipment for your staff.
By valuing productivity, your small business could realise strong growth and sustained profits.
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