Are you tired of your company dragging its feet on things that your competitors seem to get done very quickly and efficiently? It may be time for a productivity reboot. The question is, where do you start? (Hint: You’re in the right place.)
The Case for Greater Productivity
Productivity is good – right? Have you ever paused to consider just how important it is for your business? In other words, have you taken time to think about productivity in terms that are specific to your organization and goals? Here’s some food for thought:
- Productivity lowers operational costs. When workflows are smoother and your team does more with less, it means you can spend less on operational expenses. Your business becomes less resource-intensive, which simplifies this side of your balance sheet.
- Productivity increases engagement. Productive employees are more engaged. They start to feel in control over their to-do lists and embrace the fact that they’re adding value to the organization. This leads to greater focus and commitment.
- Productivity enhances customer service. Productivity is like a river – it runs downstream and impacts everything it touches along the way. Eventually, this impacts your customers by giving them a smoother and more streamlined experience.
- Productivity bolsters profitability. At the end of the day, lower operational costs, increased engagement, enhanced customer service, and all of the other benefits that come with increased productivity yield greater profitability.
So next time you gloss over the idea of productivity, make sure you pause for a moment and consider how an emphasis on efficiency could change everything for your business.
Ways to Increase Your Company’s Productivity
As you consider the impact increased productivity could have on your business, here are several ways you can facilitate gains in this areas:
1. Automate With Technology
There are so many different automated tools and applications on the market that we’d be doing you a disservice to not start here. If there’s an area where you’re struggling – a bottleneck or a complicated hand-off that requires a ton of manual energy and effort – there’s a good chance a tool is available to help alleviate this pressure.
If you’re a fleet manager, for example, there are tools that make it easy to automate manual, mundane tasks like work order management and preventive maintenance scheduling. Cetaris fleet maintenance software is one option. (It integrates with 150-plus other tools and applications.)
2. Shift Your Approach to Scheduling
It might seem odd to talk about scheduling in an article about productivity, but this is actually a very important aspect in today’s business world. Strict, rigid scheduling no longer works to a company’s advantage. If anything, the “9-to-5” schedule is a detriment to morale and productivity. Flexibility, however, can work wonders for a business.
Shifting to flexible scheduling – which includes letting workers choose when and where they work (within reason) – can ensure employees are always working at their best. Someone who works better in the early morning hours can choose to start her day at 6 a.m., whereas a night owl can work a much later shift and play to his strengths.
3. Optimize Individual Workspaces
According to Jennifer Post of Business News Daily, there are several ways you can optimize individual workspaces to improve productivity. Some of them are surprisingly simple, like adding plants to your office and organizing gadgets and wires so they’re out of sight. There’s also a case to be made for personalizing the space.
“Personalizing your space – in moderation, of course – can increase your emotional connection to your work, but it’s important to not let the personal touches become the clutter that Lieback warns against,” Post writes.
Something as simple as a framed photo of your kids or a favorite souvenir from your travels may be enough to keep you motivated.
4. Conduct Regular Reviews
It’s not enough to conduct a single year-end evaluation. Management should be conducting regular one-on-one reviews with every single employee. These don’t have to be long or particularly stringent reviews, but you do want to spend 10 or 15 minutes providing (and gathering) feedback from employees every three or four months. This will help you identify areas for improvement.
Adding it All Up
You don’t have to do everything at once. It’s better to take one small step each day than to be paralyzed and immobile. Progress is the goal – not perfection. Look for small opportunities for incremental growth and push forward.
Productivity tends to have a compounding effect, which means a proactive effort could yield oversized results.