Running a business isn’t easy, especially when you have a lot of employees to manage. Some of them are a joy to work with and are great assets to your company, but problems can still arise even when you’ve got quality people. One problem is inefficiency. With the never-ending pressure to cut costs and boost performance, you need to do everything you can to streamline your office procedures and get your whole team working more efficiently. Efficient workflows will also help you avoid problems that can bring your company productivity to a screeching halt. Here are five tips to help you accomplish that goal and make managing your business a lot easier.
Ongoing Employee Training
Many companies make the mistake of thinking that employee training is only necessary for new hires. But if you want your company to thrive in this ultracompetitive marketplace, everyone in your organization needs to be at the top of their game and needs to be making constant improvements. Whether you provide skill-specific training through a program like Global Learning Systems or seminars on topics such as ethics and personal productivity, you should always be investing in your employees.
Track Everything that Matters
Studies have repeatedly shown that measuring key indicators of job performance leads to greater progress toward company goals in less time. Sales people who track details of every sales call sell more products and services. Delivery managers who track every stop and measure drivers’ performance stats get more products delivered on time. If you’re not tracking your results in detail, then you’ll have a hard time spotting bottlenecks and performance problems, and that’s going to hold you back.
Eliminate Unnecessary Meetings
Meetings are the biggest time-suck in every office environment on the planet. You know this. Your employees know it too, and they grumble about those meetings behind your back. Before calling that next meeting, ask yourself if it can be addressed with a quick email or text message or even an impromptu 3-minute standing meeting around the coffee maker instead of a full-blown meeting. But don’t make everyone stop what they’re doing several times per month to have a staff meeting just because it’s on the schedule.
Create an Employee Handbook
Many small businesses fail to put policies and procedures down in writing and distribute them to new hires in the form of an employee handbook, especially in companies with only a few employees. It might not seem like a big deal. Everybody knows the basics regarding how to do their jobs, right? Why do you need a handbook? Well, written rules, policies, and procedures are necessary for your benefit as well as your employees’ benefit. It’s not just about them.
Do Not Tolerate Toxic Behavior
What do you do with employees who constantly complain about customers and coworkers behind their backs? And what do you do about those who undermine you behind your back? Toxic behavior can cause real damage to your business, and you need to address these types of people with real consequences. But many employers let people get away with gossip and insubordination for months or even years before they blow up and fire the person—and then they’re slapped with a wrongful termination lawsuit.
Remember that employee handbook above? This is why you need it. You need to document any behavior that is in violation of company policies. Address the issues with the employee and then follow through with consequences if the behavior isn’t corrected. If you don’t deal with negative people in your company, you’ll regret it.
A big part of managing a business is making sure all the moving parts of your company work together well. The potential amount of money you can make each month and year means nothing if you can’t get your employees to follow policies, work together, and stay motivated. By following these five strategies, you can greatly increase the efficiency of your team and create a work environment that boosts productivity, eliminates waste, nips drama in the bud, cuts costs, and increases profits. You’ll also save yourself quite a bit of sanity as your company learns to manage itself better and streamline its processes over time.