6 Non-Technical Tips for Improving Productivity in Your Small Business
Figuring out how to run a business smoothly and efficiently is all about productivity. It doesn’t really matter what sort of business you’re in. If you and your employees aren’t productive, nothing will ever really get done, will it?
You’ve been hammered with enough articles about apps, software programs, and gadgets to make you faster and more productive lately.
The following tips are all about taking a step back to the “human condition”; starting yours and your employee’s day on the right foot and using a laser-focused approach to navigate your way through that day!
1. It all starts with a good morning
Things that we’ve all heard before, like eating a good breakfast, not overdoing it with caffeine, staying away from sugar, getting yourself centered. These are all good tips to follow, but there’s much more to it than that.
Most entrepreneurs and successful CEO’s have a rigid ritual that involves getting themselves into the right mindset to work. If you just wake up and go, without a little personal time and planning of how you want the day to unfold, your day isn’t going to be as productive as it could be. Inspire your employees to adopt a pre-breakfast ritual, too.
2. Motivate your staff
Most of us have been in a Walmart store in the morning just after opening and heard them chanting the Walmart company mantras about having a super day, and working relentlessly to please every customer that walks into the store. This seems cheesy to a lot of people, but motivating your team in this sort of brief “morning meeting” format is proven to be effective. That’s why major companies like Wally-World do it.
Get your employees together, tell everyone how much you appreciated their hard work from yesterday, read a few customer testimonials if you have any, recite popular quotes from successful people – then try to establish at least one definitive and necessary goal that the company needs to achieve that day.
On that note, check out this NYTimes article about Walmart and their motivation practises.
3. Set at least one definitive goal for each day
This can be for you, your entire team, or individual goals. Having your staff set to accomplish a singular goal as a team is the best team-building approach, since nobody has to feel like their out on an island surviving by themselves, but the nature of your business may not allow this approach – at least not every single day!
Establish a focused goal for yourself and your team, then allow time for smaller, less important goals that can be completed thereafter if there’s time. Rewards really help too.
4. Reward yourself and your team
Little things that seem of no consequence to an adult are more effective than you might think. Be a little childish and you’ve found an inexpensive way to reward yourself or your employees.
Perhaps an extra five-minute nap time for getting individual tasks done, or for each new lead/sale that’s brought in. Buy some open-ended movie theater tickets and distribute them to people for a job done well and on time. Get a sticker board and write employee’s names on them with a column for sticking “Job Well Done” or “You’re Awesome” stickers – perhaps a monetary prize to be awarded to the most productive employee at the end of a certain time-period. Competition inspires productivity and team building!
5. Don’t discourage friendships in the workplace
Some employers are so stuck on productivity that they discourage, or even outright punish employees who’re caught fraternizing on the clock. If people are getting their work done, is it really worth it to have them in an anti-social mindset?
Let your employees talk as much as they want – people who don’t get their work done and who always seem distracted are the employees you want to watch out for. These types of employees need extra training to help them focus better and realize that productivity is essential to their job security.
6. Group up yours and your employee’s distraction time
For instance, a secretary should be focused on either customer service, or paperwork – not both. How can you expect them to type out a 100 page report while your office is filled with clients who need administrative help? A salesperson shouldn’t be checking their smartphone during a sales-meeting or they might miss an important detail you want them focused on.
Anything that distracts from the end-game, but which needs to be done, should be done in a pre-arranged block of time whenever necessary. Check out Danny Meyer’s views about grouping distractions: www.inc.com
Do you have additional tips? If so, please share yours!