There are a lot of diverse opinions about how to boost productivity for small businesses. Employee productivity is even more important for small businesses because there are fewer of them and those chosen few often play multiple roles.
Workplace Productivity Tips For Your Business
If the success of your small business depends on boosting productivity, here are some strategies backed by scientific research and the development of winning teams.
1. Reduce Distractions
A great way to reduce distractions is to make a not-to-do list. Your list should include all the activities that most often keep you from achieving your daily goals. Not checking your Facebook page until the end of the day is one example. Not answering the phone, but setting aside a specific time each day to return calls is another. The loss of time and focus caused by frequent unplanned interruptions is one of the most common reasons for missing important business deadlines.
2. Time Your Tasks
Timing yourself while performing routine tasks today can help you schedule your time more effectively tomorrow. The ability to set and consistently meet realistic daily goals depends on a realistic estimation of the time it takes to accomplish specific tasks. An added benefit of this strategy is that when you compare notes with your business associates, you can delegate tasks according to who does them most quickly and efficiently.
3. Delegate Opportunities to Shine
According to a Gallup poll, 60% of employees list the opportunity to do what they do best as extremely important for job satisfaction. For small businesses with fewer employees responsible for more duties, employee job satisfaction is doubly important. Training new employees is expensive, both in terms of time and money. What better way for small business owners to reduce their long hours than by delegating tasks to those best suited to completing them with style? Taking the time to learn what your employees do best will give you more time to enjoy the fruits of your labors—while increasing their job satisfaction.
4. Know When to Multitask
What is normally called multi-tasking is actually just the ability to switch focus quickly from one task to another. While it’s true that it’s physically possible to perform certain tasks while speaking on the phone, it’s also true that the human brain can only focus completely on one task at a time. Multi-tasking should be avoided whenever there is important information at stake. For example, an employee on a phone call with a customer requesting a product with complex specifications should probably not be simultaneously entering data for a different account.
5. Work Environment
According to a Forbes article, the best way to create a goal-oriented cooperative work environment is to make sure that “everyone has a say in the planning, designing, developing and implementing of those goals.” One of those goals for small businesses should be creating a work environment that sparks motivation and promotes productivity. While routine is important, it can also stifle creativity and lead to burnout. Encouraging employees to work outside the office for part of the day and occasionally scheduling necessary meetings at a different location are good ways to combat the negative effects of routine. Mobile technology has even made it possible to declare a local park your employee’s workplace for a day.
As business management expert and best-selling author Tom Peters says “The simple act of paying positive attention to people has a great deal to do with productivity.” Whatever productivity challenges your small business faces, creativity can help you and your employees overcome them together.